The awards for the thirteenth edition of the ABC Salud awards will be presented this Thursday, November 23, at the Casa de ABC. In this edition, for the first time, the work of a scientist will be recognized, the microbiologist Francis J. Mojica, a crucial figure in the development of genetic editing that are already revolutionizing medicine. Along with Mojica, the ABC Salud 2023 awards feature advances in mental health, fetal surgery and data management and clinical history of patients.
As in previous years, ABC Salud has had an exceptional jury, chaired by the former Minister of Health, Ana Pastor. Also taking part were the director of the National Transplant Organization (ONT), Beatriz Domínguez; the director of the Carlos III Health Institute, Cristóbal Belda; Tomás Cobo, president of the General Council of Official Medical Associations; Federico de Montalvo, vice-rector of the Pontifical University of Comillas; Javier Urzay, deputy general director of Farmaindustria and Nuria Ramírez de Castro, editor-in-chief of ABC Society.
These are the 2023 winners:
Researcher of the Year: Francis Mojica, scientific ‘father’ of gene editing
Its discoveries at the end of the 80s in the salt flats of Santa Pola, in Alicante, allowed the birth of CRISPR, a revolutionary technique that allows genes to be cut and pasted at will. In short, change the destiny written in DNA and edit any form of life, including human life. It also achieves this in a simple, economical and effective way. Today, genetic editing is already improving crops with the development of gluten-free wheat varieties or plants resistant to drought and pests that do not need pesticides. But above all, the therapeutic potential of this genetic tool to treat thousands of hereditary diseases is astonishing. There are already hundreds of patients in the world with a rare and serious type of anemia treated experimentally. It is only the first step of what it can contribute to Medicine. The best yet in the development of this technology is yet to come.
Best medicine: Spravato against depression
Spravato, from the pharmaceutical company Janssen, is the first and only treatment approved in Spain to deal with the most difficult-to-treat depression, when conventional treatments fail. Major depressive disorder affects almost forty million people of all ages in Europe and is a leading cause of disability. The new fast-acting antidepressant is a derivative of ketamine, a powerful anesthetic that can also be administered as a spray through the nose. This route of administration is designed for use by the patient themselves under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Its approval and financing in Spain was the first good news in three decades for people suffering from depression, a very prevalent disease but still lacking innovations.
Technology: The interoperability of the medical record
The Idis Foundation launched the clinical history project in private healthcare due to the concern of the private healthcare sector to take advantage of the advantages that technology provides for the benefit of quality care. Its objective is to ensure that the different healthcare centers can share patient reports, regardless of where they were generated. It is a long-term initiative that aims for a single patient in an integrated health system.
Nursing: Help with pediatric transplant
On this occasion, the project “Overcoming the challenges of pediatric transplantation: strategy for a successful transition to adult life” from the La Paz hospital in Madrid.
This nursing project promotes continuity of care in pediatric transplant patients with the aim of making a good transition to adult life. The transition consultation and family school led by nursing improves the treatment of these chronic patients at a crucial time.
Pharmacies of Castilla-La Mancha
The mental health awareness campaign carried out by the pharmacies of Castilla-La Mancha is recognized. The objective is to end the stigma in serious mental disorder from a positive, integrative and normalized point of view. The initiative is from the College of Pharmacists of Castilla-La Mancha and the Otsuka-Lundbeck alliance and is aimed at users, family members and caregivers of people with serious mental disorders.
Public hospital: Maternal-fetal Unit of Virgen del Rocío
The Sevillian hospital has been making it possible for two decades babies with malformations are born completely healthy or with a higher quality of life, operating on them before they are born. Little Mecca was the last. He had spina bifida, a serious malformation of the central nervous system that causes neurological disorders, urological and trauma problems. There are only 34 centers in the world that perform this highly complex surgery.
Private hospital: HM CIOCC for the hyper-early cancer detection unit
The innovative oncological hyper-early diagnosis and prevention unit at the HM CIOCC hospital is the first of its kind in Spain. Designed for people over 50 years of age, it uses traditional screening tests and the most modern molecular diagnostic tests.
Fontilles Foundation for fighting leprosy
The Fontilles Foundation has been dedicated to improving the health and living conditions of the most vulnerable for 121 years. In its facilities it treats the last leprosy patients and also combats forgotten diseases in Asia, Africa, and America through cooperation projects and cares for dependent elderly people and people with brain damage in its facilities.