Marta Costa

  • Medicinal chemistry
  • organic synthesis
  • oncobiology
  • aggressive cancers
  • unmet medical needs
  • triple negative breast cancer
  • renal cell carcinoma
  • innovative treatment options
  • targeted therapies

Marta Costa is a Researcher working at the ICVS, Founder and CEO of Karion Therapeutics, a spin-off company dedicated to the pre-clinical development of innovative drug candidates for cancer. She holds a degree in Applied Chemistry (2006, UM) and a PhD in Sciences – Organic Chemistry (2011). During this work she was awarded a PhD grant from the Portuguese Science Foundation. Marta has experience working as a Medicinal Chemist in a pharmaceutical company (Bial, 2011) and has also postdoctoral experience at the Chemistry Department at the UM (2012-2014), working in organic synthesis and also in teaching under-graduated students. Marta joined the ICVS in 2015 and in the last years focused her interest on the study of new synthetic compounds as anticancer agents. She is particularly interested in developing disruptive therapies, especially for triple negative breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma, two poor prognosis cancers with high mortality rates. Marta has published several international peer-reviewed research articles, book chapters and she is the major inventor of 2 international patents (WO/2020/261242; WO/2021/191882). She successfully supervised 1 PhD, 10 Master theses and several under-graduated research projects and supervises currently 5 PhD and 2 Master students. Marta has been actively participating in the training of MSc and PhD, through training programs held at the School of Medicine/ICVS. She has been acknowledged with several awards, including the Innovation Award Bluepharma|University of Coimbra (2022), 2 research grants from the National League Against Cancer (LPCC-NRN, 2019 and 2022) and by a European Regional Development Fund (FEDER, 2020).

Scientific Highlights

2CABraga/CRP/2022 – Establishment of a patient-derived xenograft CAM model for in vivo validation of the new anticancer drug candidate SM01
LPCC-NRN/2022 – Innovative therapy for resistant renal cell carcinoma: molecular target validation
NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-046826 (2020) – SynCroTher – New chromene derivatives for cancer therapy
LPCC-NRN/EMUM/2019 – Chromene-based molecules as candidates for triple negative breast cancer treatment
Innovation Award Bluepharma|University of Coimbra (2022)
SpinUM 2022 – 1st place in the Best Business Idea Contest promoted by TecMinho
1. Olívia Pontes, Sofia Oliveira-Pinto, Fátima Baltazar, Marta Costa; Renal cell carcinoma therapy: Current and new drug candidates, Drug Discovery Today, 2022, 27: 304-314.
2. Sofia Oliveira-Pinto, Olívia Pontes, Diogo Lopes, Belém Sampaio-Marques, Marta D. Costa, Luísa Carvalho, Céline S. Gonçalves, Bruno M. Costa, Patrícia Maciel, Paula Ludovico, Fátima Baltazar, Fernanda Proença, Marta Costa; Unravelling the anticancer potential of functionalized chromeno[2,3-b]pyridines for breast cancer treatment, Bioorganic Chemistry, 2020, 100: 103942.