ERC Proof of Concept grant for Professor João Mano

Professor João F. Mano was awarded with a Proof of Concept (PoC) grant from the European Research Council. The ERC-PoC scheme supports activities at the very early stage of turning research outputs into a commercial valuable proposition, able to achieve economic or societal benefits. Based on technological advances reached from the ERC-Advanced Grant ATLAS, João F. Mano and his team will receive 150000€ for the validation and commercial exploitation of a hydrogel-based platform combining human-derived biomaterials and cells as patient- and disease- specific models for bone disorders, in particular osteosarcoma.

Osteosarcoma is a rare but devastating bone tumour that mainly affects children, adolescents and elderly. This type of tumour is very resistant to therapy, being thus urgent to find new effective treatments. In vitro three-dimensional tumour models can recapitulate many aspects of the natural tumour environment, and could be used to improve the predictive value of the effect of anticancer drug candidates. The ERC-PoC project MicroBone will be engaged on the pre-competitive development of biological relevant micro-spherical disease models that could be used as an enabling tool for personalized and precision drug discovery, increasing our understanding of the mechanisms behind bone cancer and opening marketable solutions for testing new drug-based therapies.