According to the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases kill 41 million people every year. These include a wide range of metabolic diseases, such as obesity and its associated diseases (type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease), and other diseases with a strong inflammatory component, such as inflammatory bowel disease. All these diseases involve pharmacological treatments that are not free from side effects and, in many cases, of limited efficacy, making necessary new therapeutic tools.
Since succinate is elevated in many of these pathological situations, the technology-based spin-off SUCCIPRO, S.L., set up on 30 March 2022, aims to develop drugs able to reduce succinate to improve metabolism and reduce inflammation, being the first clinical indication type 2 diabetes. This new company is led by Dr. Isabel Huber Ruano, an expert in translational medicine, Dr. Sonia Fernández Veledo, an expert in metabolism, and Dr. Joan Vendrell Ortega, a clinical endocrinologist. The entrepreneurs, members of the Diabetes and Metabolic Associated Diseases Research Group (DIAMET) that belongs to the CIBERDEM network, carry out their research at IISPV-CERCA, URV and Hospital Universitari Joan XXIII, in Tarragona.
SUCCIPRO S.L. is developing first-in-class, gut-restricted, monitorable, succinate-modulating therapies as a new opportunity for patients with metabolic and inflammatory diseases. These innovative therapies are the result of previous work supported by several institutions (La Caixa Foundation, ISCIII, MICINN, AGAUR, FIPSE and URV). Moreover, the project was awarded in 2021 with the second prize in the Imagine IF! Accelerator programme for life sciences and health tech ventures, organized by the Innovation Forum. Dra. Isabel Huber highlights that this new company will contribute to improve the long-term health of people suffering from illnesses with a strong chronic inflammatory component by lowering succinate levels.