The University of Barcelona has a new chair since yesterday: the UB-AMGEN Chair on Multiple Myeloma. Thanks to the collaboration of the US biotech company AMGEN , the University will be able to promote several activities on teaching, training, information and documentation in the field of monoclonal gammopathies in general, and multiple myeloma in particular.
Research into this type of blood cancer has increased the life expectancy from three to seven years for people with the disease. However, to ensure adequate care for these patients, it is essential for medical specialists to have more knowledge on molecular biology, genetics and clinical research. The aim of this new chair is therefore to develop teaching programmes of excellence aimed at training multidisciplinary teams to address therapeutic advances in multiple myeloma, and thus improve its prognosis.
At the presentation ceremony, which was held yesterday at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences , the rector of the UB, Joan Guàrdia, explained that the University’s aim is "to open spaces that were closed, to dream of scenarios that nobody imagined", and that this Chair "is the sum of the efforts of four institutions —the UB, AMGEN, the Clínic, and IDIBAPS— that travel together and are committed to people’s health".
The director of the Chair, Carlos Fernández de Larrea, professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the UB, commented that multiple myeloma is the second most common neoplasm and that treatment has recently been revolutionised. "With this chair —he stressed— we want to focus on the training of professionals to treat this disease in the most appropriate way".
Fina Lladós, CEO of AMGEN Iberia, stated that "the latest advances in genetics and molecular biology are making oncological medicine evolve at a rapid pace", and stressed that it is necessary for hospitals, universities, researchers and the pharmaceutical industry to be prepared and collaborate to promote oncological medicine "and to ensure that future specialists have all the weapons to fight against a disease that takes so many lives". She also said: "To be part of this chair, collaborating with two leading institutions such as the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Barcelona and the Hospital Clínic, is an honour and a further demonstration of our commitment to research and treatment of this serious cancer".
Among the activities to be promoted by the Chair are the organisation of seminars and practical training courses on multiple myeloma at the Hospital Clínic, visits to laboratories to carry out clinical research and the promotion of courses for patients and their families. Regarding dissemination, scientific publications on monoclonal gammopathies will be promoted and the National Prize for Research in Multiple Myeloma will be awarded, among other actions.
Among the attendees in the presentation was the vice-rector for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Transfer, Mercè Segarra; the dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Antoni Trilla, and the medical director of Hospital Clínic, Antoni Castells.