First scientific conference on nanotechnology and rare diseases
The Spanish nanomedicine platform (Nanomed Spain), together with the Sant Joan de Déu Research Institute and the IBEC (Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia), organised an event within the framework of the Rare Disease Day at which they presented the latest innovations in the field of nanomedicine for the treatment and diagnosis of these diseases.
Minority diseases are very much present in our society:
- There are over 300 million cases worldwide.
- Over 6,000 rare diseases have been identified.
- They currently affect 5% of the world's population.
- In Europe, a disease is defined as rare when it affects less than 1 in 2,000 people.
Over 40 people attended the event, at which experts from different fields presented the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of minority diseases. The opening presentation was given by Francesc Palau, director of the Sant Joan de Déu Research Institute (IRSJD) and the Paediatric Institute of Rare Diseases (IPER), and Josep Samitier, scientific coordinator of NanoMed Spain and director of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia.
Georgia Sarquella-Brugada, cardiologist at the Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children's Hospital and a member of the research team Cardiovascular Diseases in Development at the IRSJD, was the first speaker and presented new advances in heart rate control in paediatrics and the evolution of pacemakers. She was followed by Nora Ventosa, researcher in the Nanomol Group at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), and associated researcher at the Biomedical Research Centre for Bioengineering, Biomaterials And Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), who spoke about lysosomal disorders and how drugs can be encapsulated to protect them and ensure they reach their destination. Andrés Nascimento, paediatric neurologist at the Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children's Hospital and a member of the IRSJD research team Applied Research in Neuromuscular Diseases, discussed neuromuscular diseases and some of the clinical trials in progress. Subsequently, Àngel del Pozo, from Biokeralty, talked about vesicles for drug delivery and Josep Jiménez, researcher in the IRSJD team Peadiatric Metabolic Diseases explained a treatment and possible cure under development for type I diabetes. Finally, Eduard Goñalons, scientific advisor to the Noelia Foundation (Children Against Congenital Muscular Dystrophy Due to Collagen VI Deficiency), described the disease and the work of the association.
The presentations were followed by a period reserved for questions and discussion with the speakers. The event closed with the screening of the documentary RAR, La força del Torró solidari, which narrates the struggle of three families with children who suffer from rare diseases and receive care at the Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children's Hospital.
Over 40 people attended the event, at which experts from different fields presented the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of minority diseases.