Spanish National Research Council and StemTek Scientists Study Combinatorial Chemistry to Prevent Cancer Relapse

Bilbao, Spain - December 21, 2015

StemTek Therapeutics, a leading Spanish biotech start up with a stem cell centric approach, today announced an important collaboration with the Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC) part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). The agreement enables greater access and deeper collaboration between the private and the public sector to screen libraries of compounds from the Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia in order to identify those that can be used against cancer stem cells.

“Stem cell targeted therapy research has huge potential to revolutionize cancer research and lead to entirely new and more effective therapies that work to eliminate tumor cells without harming healthy cells. Through collaboration with other companies we aim to contribute with our research to explore new avenues in healthcare,” said Angel Messeguer, Group Leader, IQAC-CSIC.

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are tumor-initiating cancer cells that have been found in many different types of cancer – including breast, colon, head and neck, leukemia, lung, melanoma, myeloma, pancreatic, prostate and thyroid cancers. They are the building blocks for new cancer growth, responsible for relapse and metastasis. Novel drug discovery for anti cancer stem cells combines molecular oncology, pharmacology and chemistry to develop drugs that target these cells. Using combinatorial chemistry scientists can attach several groups of compounds into a single structure to create new compounds and test their effects on cancer stem cells.

“Access to these compounds and above all the opportunity to work closely with CSIC’s expert chemists will open new doors to our research,” said Angel Garcia Martin, CEO, StemTek. “Our ambitious goal is nothing short of finding the key compounds to create anticancer drugs that will stop cancer from spreading. These selective drugs will aim to eliminate the negative side effects associated with conventional cancer chemotherapy and more importantly prevent relapse.”

To develop novel drug candidates, StemTek will screen IQAC’s library of over 12.000 compounds to identify those that specifically target the unique functional features of cancer stem cells. Once specific hit molecules are identified, scientists at Stemtek will work with chemists at IQAC in lead generation and optimization to fine tune molecules that uniquely target CSCs for use in novel medicinal molecules.


Founded in 2013, StemTek is a biotech startup entirely dedicated to cancer stem cell research and drug discovery. StemTek uses 3D cell based assay automated for HTS, allowing the company to test thousands of compounds that target cancer stem cells to stop spheroid formation. 3D cell culture systems allow for stronger, more efficient and reliable drug screening. StemTek collaborates with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to accelerate early stage drug screening to develop new anticancer therapies. With over thirty years combined experience in molecular and cellular oncology, StemTek’s goal is to find treatments that put an end to relapse. Join our fight @StemTekTher or for more information go to:


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