Researchers from the University of Barcelona, ​​Rovira i Virgili University, University of Coimbra and University College of London receive the Jorge Heller Award from the Controlled Release Society

Researchers from the University of Barcelona in collaboration with researchers from Rovira i Virgili University, University College of London and University of Coimbra received the Jorge Heller award sponsored by the prestigious Elsevier publishing house for the best research article published in the Journal of Controlled Release, 2019. The award-winning article shows the applications of nanotechnology in the treatment of neurodegenerative processes as Alzheimer’s disease.

The Controlled Release Society (CRS) awarded the first prize to our paper entitled “Dual-drug loaded nanoparticles of Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)/Ascorbic acid enhancement therapeutic efficacy of EGCG in a APPswe/PS1dE9 Alzheimer’s disease mice model”, a study from the research groups of the University of Barcelona ​​led by Dra. María Luisa García (Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences and Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology), Dr. Antoni Camins (Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences and Institute of Neuroscience) and Dr. Carme Auladell (Faculty of Biology), in collaboration with Dr. Jaume Folch (Faculty of Medicine of the Rovira i Virgili University), Dr. Eliana B. Souto (University of Coimbra) and Dr. Patric Turowski (University College of London).

The award-winning study is the approach of nanotechnology to therapeutics, consisting of the development of a new pharmaceutical dosage form based on biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles for the encapsulation of Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most potent polyphenol in green tea. These nanoscopic spheres direct the drug to the site of action and release it slowly. In this work, we have evaluated the beneficial effects of the loaded EGCG in a double transgenic mouse family model of Alzheimer’s disease. Not only has the study demonstrated the therapeutic potential of this molecule for this neurodegenerative disease, but it has also shown a significant increase in its pharmacological properties, with improved penetration through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) along with the decrease of its toxicity.

This study is the accomplishment of previous scientific publications achieved by these research teams, that recognize the effectiveness of nanoparticles as a therapeutic strategy useful to improve the efficiency of conventional treatments against neurodegenerative diseases.

The award, which will be presented at the CRS annual meeting, is a recognition of the high-quality effort, innovation and research in the field of neuropharmacology and nanomedicine.