"One of the most novel applications is the use of aptamers to deliver in vivo a cargo (siRNA or even another aptamer) to a target cell."


The Aptamer Group of the Cima Universidad de Navarra focuses its research on the generation of aptamers with the capacity to induce and potentiate the anti-tumor immune response.

It has developed antagonist and agonist aptamers to modulate the function of a receptor, inhibiting or activating it according to therapeutic requirements. One of the most novel applications of this technology is the use of aptamers to deliver a cargo to a target cell in vivo; the nature of the cargo can range from an siRNA to another aptamer.

Aptamers are small single-stranded RNA or DNA molecules that acquire very complex secondary structures. They exhibit similar or higher affinities and specificities than monoclonal antibodies.

The use of aptamers extends to the therapeutic and diagnostic field; in addition, they can be used as an efficient delivery system for small molecules. Several aptamers are currently in clinical trials; one of them has recently been approved by the FDA for use in macular degeneration.

Dr. Fernando Pastor


+34 948 194 700
Research profile

Objectives of our research

Real alternative to monoclonal antibodies in biomedical, diagnostic and therapeutic research.

Development of therapeutic agents with high affinity and specificity for various diseases.

Clinical trials to validate the use of aptamers to enhance the immune response against tumors.

Design and synthesis of aptamers

They are selected using the SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment) technique, a complex technique consisting of multiple binding, partitioning and elution steps.

This whole process is carried out in the laboratories of the Cima Universidad de Navarra.


Molecular Therapies

To discover new molecular therapies that may address unmet medical needs.

In-vitro and in-vivo validation

In order to know the efficacy and safety of new targets or mechanisms of action of clinical interest through the use of new molecules.

Development of therapeutic agents

Design of new molecules for multifactorial optmization to reach the patient as quickly as possible.

External collaboration
with companies

We make it possible for external companies, with capacity and resources, to invest in the project and take it to the patient, which is our main objective.

<p>Fachada del Centro de Investigaci&oacute;n M&eacute;dica Aplicada (CIMA)</p>

Would you like to help us?

Thanks to the generosity of many people, the Cima Universidad de Navarra is a reality that strives to offer therapeutic solutions to achieve personalized medicine for patients.

Meet the research team

Scientific activity of the Aptamer Research Group

We would like to highlight...

IL-6/STAT3 signaling in tumor cells restricts the expression of frameshift-derived neoantigens by SMG1 induction

08-nov-2022 | Molecular Cancer

A pan-tumor-siRNA aptamer chimera to block nonsense-mediated mRNA decay inflames and suppresses tumor progression

20-jul-2020 | Molecular Therapy Nucleic Acids