Certest Biotec boosts the Aragonese biopharma sector thanks to two pioneering research projects co-funded by the Government of Aragón.
Certest Biotec, a biotech company based in San Mateo de Gállego, is committed to R&D as a driving force for development and growth. The company is currently immersed in a process of evolution and transition to the biopharma sector with the development of new research projects that combine various scientific disciplines such as biotechnology, bioinformatics, chemistry, biochemistry and nanotechnology.
Specifically, two of the projects underway have the support of the Government of Aragón thanks to the line of grants for R&D projects linked to the pharma sector announced by the Department of Economy, Planning and Employment. The purpose of these competitive grants is to increase the competitiveness of companies through the generation and incorporation of knowledge, technologies and innovation aimed at the creation of technologically advanced and higher value-added products and services.
The project “New technologies for the design and production of RNA vaccines in Aragón”, launched at the end of 2021 with a budget of over 2.5 million euros and a duration of two years, has enabled the company to develop and implement a technology to design, evaluate and produce its own messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. This technology uses mRNA as the active ingredient of the vaccine, which is translated in the body to create the protein that induces the immune response. However, vaccine formulation is a complex process that involves other components such as excipients and lipids. Messenger RNA vaccines have been of great importance in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
This project, which is pioneering both in our community and in Spain, is making it possible to establish a comprehensive platform on which to consider, from start to finish, the development of new vaccines against human and animal infectious diseases, as well as the immunotherapy of different types of cancer.
At the end of 2022, Certest launched the project “Design and development of a medicine platform with a 5P approach (predictive, preventive, personalised, participatory and populational) through massive sequencing (NGS)”, with a budget of over 1.5 million euros. In this case, the project was led by Certest with the collaboration of the company LevProt Bioscience, located in Calatayud and dedicated to the expression of recombinant proteins in yeast.
NGS or Next Generation Sequencing technology has led to major advances in disease diagnosis, precision oncology and therapeutic strategies based on genetic analysis. Thanks to this technology, large regions of the genome can be identified in a single round of sequencing, as opposed to traditional techniques that require fragmented gene analysis. The success of this project will enable the development of a versatile and flexible personalised medicine platform, ranging from sample processing to the interpretation of the results, making it possible to offer patients a diagnosis, prognosis and/or therapy with a 5P approach. This innovative project seeks to provide health systems with cuttingedge technological and bioinformatic resources, allowing them to meet any challenge in the field of genomics.
Both projects are expected to have a significant impact on the health of society and on the regional, national and European economy, strengthening Aragón’s industrial fabric and putting the region on the map in the pharma sector.