Ramón Roldán joins Laminar Pharma with a postdoctoral project to isolate protumoral proteins

During January 2021, the researchers whose projects have received funding from the CAIB 2020 call of the Balearic Government for the promotion of hiring of research staff were announced. In the area of ​​industrial biomedical research (Felip Bauçà Program), the researcher Ramón Román Roldán has been selected, and he will join the Research Unit of Laminar Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company located in the Balearic Islands, specifically in the Parc Bit of Palma de Mallorca. Laminar has been part of the science and technology system of the Balearic Islands for fifteen years.

The postdoctoral research project presented by R. Román will last 24 months and will be supervised by Professor Pablo Escribá — Professor at the UIB and Founder of Laminar — as Principal Investigator, to carry out the overexpression and purification of the glucosylceramide synthase enzyme (GCS) in order to develop inhibitors of this enzyme with antitumoral potential. The researcher has a long research career and has carried out the production and purification of many different proteins.

The addition of researcher Ramón Román to Laminar will promote the creation of a department for the production and purification of proteins.

Imbalances in lipid composition caused by cancer are well-documented. The GCS enzyme is a protein that is lodged in the lipid membrane of cells, and its overexpression is associated with a reduction in the survival of patients with glioma. For this reason, GCS, also called UDP-glucose ceramide glucosyltransferase (UGCG), has become a potential therapeutic target in Laminar’s clinical development plans, and the goal of the project will be to design enzyme inhibitors based on the structure of its active site.

To date, there are no molecules under development for the treatment of cancer based on this potential therapeutic target. Therefore, in addition to GCS, this project proposes to overexpress and purify other proteins related to key processes in pathologies that Laminar is already studying for its oncology clinical trials, carried out in the field of Membrane Lipid Therapy (MLT, also called melitherapy).

The company uses melitherapy as a pioneering and highly innovative therapeutic platform to study its molecules for various applications in Oncology. This method uses bioactive lipids as a therapeutic strategy based on the regulation of the structure and / or organization of the lipid domains of the cell membrane. Such changes to the membrane lipids provoke a modification of the interaction between membrane proteins and signal transduction pathways that regulate tumour growth.