The Phase I Oncological Clinical Trials Unit at the Hospital Clínico Universitario in Valencia —where the efficacy of a drug for treating cancer is tested for the first time in humans— was created in 2004 and is pioneering in Spain.
Cutting-edge clinical trials in oncological research are conducted in the Unit. It actively collaborates with the world's best hospitals in cancer treatment such as the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the Hospital Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona, and the University of Colorado. Leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies such as Millennium in Boston and Genentech and Intellikine in San Francisco, are also involved in these international projects.
One peculiarity of the INCLIVA Research Foundation is that all income generated by the clinical trials is reinvested into research. More than one million euros comes into the unit annually which is entirely devoted to cancer research.
The innovative approach of this unit, which addresses the diagnosis and treatment of cancer by the complete sequencing of the human genome, is achieving promising results including those from Saracatinib (anti-src), Dalotuzumab (an IGFR-inhibiting antibody), Alisertib (a specific Aurora Kinase A inhibitor), and GA201 (an anti-EGFR antibody). These inhibiting drugs, which are less toxic and more specific to each cancer type and patient, have already passed Phase II trials.
The Phase I Oncological Clinical Trials Unit is directed by Dr. Andrés Cervantes, Head of the Hospital Clínico Universitario Oncology Service, permanent senior lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Valencia and director of the INCLIVA Foundation’s line of investigation in Oncology. The team comprises 4 Collaborating Investigators, 2 Research Nurses, 1 Data Manager, and 3 Administrators.
The second, as well as part of the third, floor at Incliva’s headquarters is dedicated to oncological treatments. One room is completely equipped for Phase I treatments, and there are work offices for the nurses, data managers, and for administrative management. The Unit also has a specific room for handling blood samples, with a high-capacity centrifuge and freezer (-40 °C to -86 °C).