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Closing ceremony of the PRONAOS CENIT investigation project

Results show that the CENIT PRONAOS Project can help combat obesity through nutrition

• 26% of Spanish children are overweight, almost 20% are obese; this has become a serious public health problem.
• The project represents a total investment by PRONAOS of around 25 million Euros with almost 50% of the funding coming from CDTI through the CENIT program, and is a good example of cooperation between public and private R & D.

Madrid, May 25th, 2012

Entitled “Scientific research aimed at developing a new generation of food for weight management and obesity prevention”, the closing ceremony of the PRONAOS CENIT Project was held today. The project has lasted four years (2008-2011), with 13 Food sectors and Spanish Technology companies, and about 40 Research groups, participating. The aim has been to investigate the genetic, molecular and nutritional control systems that regulate body weight in order to develop food for weight management and obesity prevention.

As had been highlighted during the day’s celebration,  “It’s been 4 years of hard work and investment efforts to address the obesity problem from different sides, but the PRONAOS CENIT Project results will, in the very near future, lead to a new generation of functional foods that can, through nutrition, help address the serious problem that obesity has become. ”

During these 4 years, we have developed biotechnology platforms, defined biomarkers, identified and characterized new active ingredients, and designed functional food prototypes whose efficacy has been evaluated in experimental animal tests and nutritional intervention studies in human volunteers.

The Project represents a total PRONAOS investment of around 25 million Euros and has been almost 50% funded  by the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) – under the Ministry Economy and Competitiveness, through the CENIT program (National Consortium for Strategic Technical Research), aimed at encouraging public-private R & D.

Obesity and overweight

Poor eating habits, physical inactivity, and our current lifestyle in general are important determining factors of a very serious problem, one that has acquired the characteristics of a real epidemic in recent years and poses a serious risk to public health in Western countries: Obesity and Overweight.

According to the latest available data, worldwide more than 1 billion adults are overweight, 300 million of whom are obese. In Europe, obesity and overweight now affect more than 50% of the population and the numbers are even more alarming in children: particularly in Spain, where 26% of children are overweight and nearly 20% are obese.

Concern about this increasing prevalence of obesity in our society is due to its association with the major chronic diseases of our time; cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers.

The increasing prevalence of obesity in children is particularly troubling because these diseases will begin to appear at increasingly early ages.

The PRONAOS Consortium

Motivated by this concern, and in order to contribute their research to the knowledge, prevention and treatment of obesity, 13 food sector companies and Spanish biotechnology: Biosearch, SA; Bioibérica SA Bionaturis (BNT.SV) BTSA Applied Biotechnologies , SL, HS Damm.; ElPozo Food, Inc., Lactalis Villarrobledo, SLU; Ingeniatrics Technologies, SL; INNOFOOD I + D + i, SL; Neocodex, SL; Noray Bioinformatics, SLU, SCA Valley Livestock Pedroches (COVAP) and Genome Systems, Ltd., came together to form a specialized multidisciplinary consortium in collaboration with about 40 research groups belonging to the National Research Council and prestigious Spanish universities and technology centers.

Under these auspices, the PRONAOS research project was conceived, for “Scientific research aimed at developing a new generation of food for weight control and obesity prevention,” and was led by Biosearch, Inc.

The project was approved in the fourth edition (2008-2011) of CENIT (National Strategic Consortia for Technical Research), managed by the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI), and aimed at public-private R & D.

Further Information:

For more information:

Biosearch LifeKetchum Pleon
Cristina Díaz Morillo
Phone +34 91 380 29 73

Ketchum Pleon
Carolina Rodríguez-Solano / Ana González
Phone +34 91 788 32 00