It concerns the development of Rino Spray, a project whose total value is 34.9 million kuna, with European funds totalling 13.87 million kuna. The project partner is the Centre for Proteomics of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka, while the company Biosens from Zagreb, JGL’s development partner, provides scientific support in the development of this innovative product.
“This is a step forward for our company, considering that this is the first time we are developing a product from the ground up with substances that, up until now, have not been used in nasal sprays, but which contribute to reducing symptoms and the progression of colds caused by rhinoviruses, which is why we call it Rino Spray. The project is also important because, as part of the Smart Specialisation Strategy of the Republic of Croatia, the thematic priority area “Health and Quality of Life” has been selected as one of the five key areas for the development of the Croatian economy. With this project, we aim to strengthen the position of the country, position ourselves as a European centre for the development and production of innovative healthcare products with the cooperation of production and research capacities of both the private and public sector”, highlighted Maša Safundžić Kučuk, MPharm, R&D director at JGL and project manager, while also emphasising that, due to the help of the European Fund, this type of project does not put too much of a strain on the company’s regular business.
Activities to confirm the product concept in-vitro are under way, to prove it is secure and effective, and experts from JGL and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka hope they are successful.
“A team of scientists from the Centre for Proteomics of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka has for a number of years conducted scientific research in the fields of immunology, virology, as well as research into new vector vaccines and immunotherapy. They also participate in the realisation of several national and international scientific projects. Our long-term priorities include cooperation with ambitious biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies such as JGL. I am convinced that the continued cooperation between the Faculty of Medicine and JGL on projects such as this, as well as expanding our cooperation in the direction of developing new immunotherapy, will be of strategic interest for both partners. To achieve this goal, not only are new investments needed in joint projects, but also a vision of development which is based on using research-based results for creating new therapies and medical procedures”, said Stipan Jonjić, PhD, Chair of the Department of Histology and Embryology and Chair of the Centre for Proteomics at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka.
The exceptional value of the project lies in the cooperation with the academic community and the fact that research is being conducted by young people, who can use this as a springboard for future work. Other than the Faculty of Medicine, JGL is also cooperating with the Department of Biotechnology of the University of Rijeka with a plan to include the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry of the University of Zagreb as well. Furthermore, this is the result of local knowledge and competencies which give rise to the development of new projects in the future and which position Croatia on the global healthcare market.