Josep Bassaganya-Riera Wins the 2018 Research Excellence Award
Blacksburg, VA – April 21, 2018 – Dr. Josep Bassaganya-Riera has been awarded the 2018 Research Excellence Award from the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech. The awards ceremony was held yesterday, April 20th, at Steger Hall.
Dr. Bassaganya-Riera’s work at the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) has provided a better understanding of the immune system’s response to some of the most common diseases which represent a state of high unmet treatment need. This transformative computational modeling approach has been found to improve efficiency, decrease cost, and reduce the time required to find treatments for debilitating diseases including autoimmune diseases and systemic chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Under his leadership, NIMML received funding from both the National Institutes of Health and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
“It is a distinct honor and a privilege to accept the prestigious 2018 Biocomplexity Institute Research Excellence Award,” said Dr. Bassaganya-Riera, Director of NIMM. “We embarked on a new journey with a bold vision of decoding the complexity of immune responses in the gastrointestinal tract for accelerating the path to cures. This research excellence award illustrates the scientific foundations that underpin and support NIMML and three startup companies. The research efforts at NIMML are truly and uniquely transformational in promoting health and treating widespread and debilitating human diseases. The efforts of the NIMML have established a powerful biotech ecosystem that accelerates economic development in Southwest Virginia.”
Josep is a captain of industry, innovator, serial entrepreneur, and thought leader in biotech. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed publications, holds numerous patents, has founded 3 award-winning Companies (Landos Biopharma, BioTherapeutics and Pervida), raising over $65 million in non-dilutive and equity financing rounds, and was recently named 2017 Innovator of the Year by the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council. In 2018, Pervida was named Technology Company of the year by the Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Bassaganya-Riera founded Landos Biopharma, an emerging biotech company focused on developing new oral treatments for patients with autoimmune diseases, in 2017. Landos recently closed a $10 million Series A round, and it is advancing its robust pipeline of novel oral therapeutics for autoimmune diseases, a $100 billion market, toward clinical testing and commercialization. Landos’ lead candidate, BT-11, is poised to enter clinical trials in 2018 for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis; and Landos is filing two investigational new drug (IND) applications for BT-11 and entering Phase 1 clinical testing this summer based on the successful validation and de-risking of the BT-11 program during several pre-IND meetings with FDA. Phase 2 clinical studies in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients with moderate to severe disease are anticipated in early 2019.
The NIMML tackles unsolved fundamental challenges in complex human diseases with unmet clinical needs. The NIMML combines advanced computational technologies such as computer modeling and artificial intelligence with pre-clinical and clinical experimentation to catalyze the translation of scientific discoveries into creative solutions to the most challenging problems in healthcare. NIMML is located in Blacksburg, VA.
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