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New Medicines

Pharmacology Applied to Drug Discovery (BioFarma)

Mabel Loza
Group Leader | Full Professor
Labs: P3L1, P3L2
Innopharma platform: PSSL2, PSSL3, PSSL4, PSSL5
Management Office: P2D11
Field of knowledge

The BioFarma Research Group (GI-1685) started its research in 1998 and was created at USC in 2005. Currently, it consists of over 35 members and a wide network of collaborators, including more than 80 research groups and companies. 
BioFarma Research Group is an internationally recognized research group in the field of pharmacology applied to early drug discovery and biosafety, with a translational and transfer approach to bring new scientific advances to patients. Therefore, it is a multidisciplinary group with a consolidated scientific trajectory in intensive R&D, whose research has reached clinical trials in patients for 17 new chemical entities in public-private collaborations.
This extensive experience in early drug discovery has allowed the establishment of the InnoPharma platform for drug screening and pharmacogenomics, integrated within the group. This platform is one of the seven high-capacity platforms of the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) EU-OPENSCREEN (, and is responsible for the profiling of the solubility of the 100.000 compounds in the EU-OPENSCREEN chemical library, as well as their screening against different targets.

Research Lines

  • Chemical libraries and compound management: The Innopharma platform guarantees the integrity of the compounds that make up its own chemical library (60,000 compounds) and the one that is included within the ERIC EU-OPENSCREEN where the research group is the ambassador for Spain of compound management. It consists of the latest advances in the logistics management of compounds, identifying the key points for correct management.
  • Biological reagents and therapeutic targets: Identification of new pharmacological targets for the search for new, more effective and safe therapies.
  • Assay development and translational in vitro models: Development of new, more complex in vitro models that emulate the disease and thus facilitate the translation of drugs to patients.
  • HTS, miniaturization, automation and screening campaigns: Development of assays that allow the study of chemical libraries of thousands of compounds, in 96, 384 or 1536 well plates to evaluate this activity efficiently and robustly. More than 300 developed, miniaturized and automated assays are available.
  • Hit-to-Lead-to-Candidate: Execution of high-throughput screening (HTS) campaigns using automated and miniaturized assays that allow the identification of chemical starting compounds (hits). The continuous execution of this activity in public-private partnerships has made it possible to identify 17 new chemical entities that have reached clinical studies. Development of preclinical screening cascades that allow new compounds to become candidates for regulatory preclinical studies. These cascades include the pharmacological evaluation of compounds and products on the targets or phenotype of interest, the evaluation of their efficacy in translational models and their selectivity.
  • ADME and Toxicity: Evaluation of preliminary in vitro pharmacokinetics of compounds, as well as their safety for human health.
  • Companion stratification and target engagement: Search for markers that allow a more precise diagnosis of the pathology, patient stratification and prediction of the therapeutic response of patients. Development of different target engagement markers, a measure that allows the therapeutic effect of a new drug to be attributed to its interaction with the pharmacological target, a key point for the approval of a drug by regulatory agencies.


María Isabel Cadavid Torres
Alejandro Rodríguez Pena
Postdoctoral research associate
Antón Leandro Martinez Rodríguez
Assistant professor
Geert Daudey
Research Associate
Iria Brocos Mosquera
Margarita Salas Postdoctoral Fellowship
José Manuel Brea Floriani
Associate professor
María José Varela Liste
Research Associate
Pricila Fernándes Pflüger
Postdoctoral research associate
Sonia Gómez Fernández
Postdoctoral research associate
José Manuel Santamaría Pérez
Transfer Manager


María Arrabal Ayala
FPI fellowship
Martín Baleirón Rodríguez
Research Specialist Technician
Mateo Barro Fernández
PhD student
Borja Blanco Babarro
Research Specialist Technician
Neila Cosme Boullosa
Xunta de Galicia fellowship
Mariña Durán Rubí
PhD student
Juan José Fariñas Barceló
Research Specialist Technician
Laura Gómez Carballo
Research Specialist Technician
María Isabel Iglesias Fernández
Research Specialist Technician
Shannon Amy Jenkins
PhD student
Oscar Lestón Novoa
IT Specialist
Daniel López Fernández
PhD student
Elena Navarro Plaza
PhD student
Rocío Piña Márquez
Research Specialist Technician
José Manuel Ramos Caamaño
Research Specialist Technician
Eduardo Santamaría Cadavid
IT technician
Lucía Silva Vieira
Research Specialist Technician
Leslye Paola Valarezo Riascos
PhD student
María Villar Rendo
Research Specialist Technician

Selected publications

Evidence for distinct antagonist-revealed functional states of 5-hydroxytryptamine(2A) receptor homodimers.

Brea J, Castro M, Giraldo J, López-Giménez JF, Padín JF, Quintián F, Cadavid MI, Vilaró MT, Mengod G, Berg KA, Clarke WP, Vilardaga JP, Milligan G, Loza MI.

Essential role of the C148 - C227 disulphide bridge in the human 5-HT2A homodimeric receptor

Cimadevila, M; Gomez-Garcia, L; Martinez, A L; Iglesias, A; Lopez-Gimenez, J; Castro, M; Cadavid, M I; Loza, M I; Brea, J

A New Model of Sensorial Neuron-Like Cells for HTS of Novel Analgesics for Neuropathic Pain

Martinez, AL; Brea, J; Monroy, X; Merlos, M; Burgueno, J; Loza, MI

Nitrogen-Walk Approach to Explore Bioisosteric Replacements in a Series of Potent A2B Adenosine Receptor Antagonists.

Mallo-Abreu A, Prieto-Diaz R, Jespers W, Azuaje J, Majellaro M, Velando C, García-Mera X, Caamaño O, Brea JM, Loza MI, Gutiérrez-de-Terán H, Sotelo E.

Identification and characterization of Cardiac Glycosides as senolytic compounds

Triana-Martinez, Francisco; Picallos-Rabina, Pilar; Da Silva-Alvarez, Sabela; Pietrocola, Federico; Llanos, Susana; Rodilla, Veronica; Soprano, Enrica; Pedrosa, Pablo; Ferreiros, Alba; Barradas, Marta; Hernandez-Gonzalez, Fernanda; Lalinde, Marta; Prats, Neus; Bernado, Cristina; Gonzalez, Patricia; Gomez, Maria; Ikonomopoulou, Maria P.; Fernandez-Marcos, Pablo J.; Garcia-Caballero, Tomas; del Pino, Pablo; Arribas, Joaquin; Vidal, Anxo; Gonzalez-Barcia, Miguel; Serrano, Manuel; Loza, Maria I.; Dominguez, Eduardo; Collado, Manuel
Clinical validation of blood/brain glutamate grabbing in acute ischemic stroke
da Silva-Candal, Andres; Perez-Diaz, Amparo; Santamaria, Maria; Correa-Paz, Clara; Rodriguez-Yanez, Manuel; Arda, Ana; Perez-Mato, Maria; Iglesias-Rey, Ramon; Brea, Jose; Azuaje, Jhonny; Sotelo, Eddy; Sobrino, Tomas; Loza, M. Isabel; Castillo, Jose; Campos, Francisco

Selected Results


UE project(s)

Integrated SERVices supporting a sustainable AGROecological transition (AgroServ)
REF: 101058020Duration: -
Funding: EU-OPENSCREEN ERICEuropean Commission
Drug repurposing and discovery multidisciplinary training network (DRUGtrain)
REF: 955879Duration: -
PI: María Isabel Loza García
European Commission, Marie Skłodowska-Curie – ITN

National project(s)

Biología de membranas y mecanismos de transducción de señales en farmacología aplicada
REF: ED431CDuration: -
PI: María Isabel Loza García
Nueva aproximación experimental para la identificación de antipsicóticos activos frente al déficit cognitivo en esquizofrenia - RETOS 2020
REF: PID2020-119428RB-I00Duration: -
PI: María Isabel Loza García

Contracts Agreements Services

Protocolos experimentales detallados para ensayar compuestos con actividad farmacológica en ensayos de unicón a proteína plasmática y estabilidad en microsomas
REF: Duration: -
PI: María Isabel Loza García
Plataforma de Cribado de Fármacos e Farmacoxenómica INNOPHARMA
REF: 2021-SG023-3Duration: -
PI: María Isabel Loza García
Plataforma de Cribado de Fármacos e Farmacoxenómica INNOPHARMA
REF: 2021-SG023-8Duration: -
PI: María Isabel Loza García
Plataforma de Cribado de Fármacos e Farmacoxenómica INNOPHARMA
REF: 2021-SG023-6Duration: -
PI: María Isabel Loza García
Plataforma de Cribado de Fármacos e Farmacoxenómica INNOPHARMA
REF: 2021-SG023-4Duration: -
PI: María Isabel Loza García
Plataforma de Cribado de Fármacos e Farmacoxenómica INNOPHARMA
REF: 2021-SG023-2Duration: -
PI: María Isabel Loza García
Plataforma de Cribado de Fármacos e Farmacoxenómica INNOPHARMA
REF: 2021-SG023-7Duration: -
PI: María Isabel Loza García
Plataforma de Cribado de Fármacos e Farmacoxenómica INNOPHARMA
REF: 2021-SG023-5Duration: -
PI: María Isabel Loza García
Modulation of KRAS Nanoclustering
REF: 2021-CP100Duration: -
PI: María Isabel Loza García
Participación da USC no Nodo Español do Consorcio de Infraestructuras de Investigación Europeas EUOPENSCREEN-ERIC, dedocada a la investigación en Biología Química
PI: María Isabel Loza García



Celtarys is a newly created company focused on the development of innovative chemical tools that improve the efficiency of the High Throughput Screening (HTS) process in early drug Discovery.


European Research Infrastructure Consortium EU-OpenScreen
Plan Complementario de Biotecnología Aplicado a la salud
Fundación Kaertor
Red Temática Española de Descubrimiento de Fármacos (REDEFAR)


Phosphodiesterase-7-inhibiting heterocyclic derivatives
Aplication Nº: WO2012150369
S-substituted quinazolines and their therapeutic applications for the treatment of diseases mediated by PDE7
Aplication Nº: P201231413
Derivatives of 5-substituted-3-(1-arylmethyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl)-1H-indole, the method of their preparation and their application
Aplication Nº: PL430108A1
Agnieszka Anna Kaczor, Magda Kondej, Tomasz M. Wróbel, Piotr Stępnicki, Dariusz Matosiuk, María De Los Ángeles Castro Pérez, Andrea García Silva, María Isabel Loza García
Novel biphenylsulfoximines as allosteric modulators of the dopamine D1 receptor
Aplication Nº: EP17382372.5
Riboflavin for the treatment of ischemic stroke and/or other glutamate excitotoxicity- associated diseases
Aplication Nº: EP15382229
Riboflavin for the treatment of ischemic stroke and/or other glutamate excitotoxicity-associated diseases
Aplication Nº: EP3291801B1
Methods of using up-regulators of the expression of p53 and/or down-regulators or inhibitors of the expression of p63 for the treatment of NAFLD (Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) and/or NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis)
Aplication Nº: EP3366296 B1
Nuevos derivados de piperidina y piperazina. Procedimiento para la preparación y aplicación de 4-sustituido piperidinialquil y 4-sustituido piperazinoalquil heterocicloalcanonas.
Aplication Nº: P9601012
Raviña E; Masaguer CF; Negreira J; Loza MI; Fontenla JA.
Procedimiento para la preparación y aplicación de 4-piperidinoalquil y 4-piperazinoalquil heterocicloalcanonas.
Aplication Nº: P9701310
Ravina E, Masaguer CF, Negreira J, Casariego I., Loza MI, Fontenla JA.
6-phenyldihydropyrolopyrimidinedione derivatives.
Aplication Nº: W0 03/000694 A1
Vidal B, Ryder H., Raviña E, Fernández F, Sanz F. Loza MI
Método cuantitativo para la detección de yesotoxinas en productos pesqueros basado en la activación que la toxina produce en las fosfodiesterasas celulares y utilidad terapéticia de esta activación.
Aplication Nº: WO 2005/012543 A2
Botana LM, Alfonso A, Pazos MJ, Vieytes M, Loza MI.
tilización terapéutica de las yessotoxinas como inihibidores del crecimiento de células tumorales humanas.
Aplication Nº: P200402944
Alfonso, MA; Botana, L; Loza, MI; Rodríguez, M.
Utilizacion de las yessotoxinas en el tratamiento de procesos alérgicos y asmáticos.
Aplication Nº: P200402943
Alfonso, MA; Botana, L; Loza, MI; Rodríguez, M.
Herramienta para el conteo automático de células en imágenes médicas de inmunohistoquímica.
Aplication Nº: C-468-05
Gestal M, Dorado J, Pazos AC, Rabuñal JR, Pedreira MN, Seoane JA, Rivero D, Cancela A, Primo A, Pereira J, Pérez JL, Vázquez JM, Novoa FJ, Díaz C, Dominguez E, Loza MI, Miguelez M.
1,2,4-tiadiazoles-5-imino sustituidos útiles en el tratamiento de enfermedades neurodegenerativas.
Aplication Nº: EP 2484670
Martínez A, Gil C, Palomo V, Pérez D, Pérez C, Pérez AM, Loza MI, Cadavid I, Brea J.
Heterociclos inhibidores de forfodiestarasa 7 (PDE7)
Aplication Nº: P201130712
Gil C, Martinez A, Redondo M, Campillo N, Pérez D,Pérez AM, Loza MI, Cadavid MI, Brea JM.
Pharmaceutical composition for its use in the treatment of inflammatory diseases
Aplication Nº: P202031238
Iria Gomez-Tourino, José Manuel Brea Floriani, María Isabel Loza García
N-[ω-(4-substituted-piperazin-1-yl)alkyl]-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide derivatives, method of their preparation and their application
Aplication Nº: PL43826221A
Agnieszka Anna Kaczor; Piotr Stępnicki; Tomasz Wróbel; Dariusz Matosiuk; María de los Ángeles Castro Pérez; María Isabel Loza García; Martyna Z. Wróbel; Andrzej Chodkowski; Jadwiga Turło