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The FC Barcelona Foundation, the Leitat Foundation and Bioiberica join forces to research the most common sports injures

7 Oct 2015
  • The three organizations have signed a two-year collaboration agreement to carry out research projects in muscles, tendons and ligaments 
  • They have created a joint research unit that is already working on both clinical and pre-clinical trials 
  • Muscular injuries are the most common type of sportperson-related injury (30%)-this means a professional football team suffers an average of twelve muscular injuries per season, which represent more than 300 playing days lost, according to data provided by FIFA and UEFA

If we know beforehand the risk of injury for a given professional player, or if we can find out if he is responding favourably to a treatment, these could be some of the benefits from  the collaboration agreement signed by the Fundació FC Barcelona, Fundación Leitat and biotech company, Bioiberica.  Their aim is to research the most common sports injuries, more precisely those of muscle, tendon and ligaments, in order to be able to prevent them, develop new treatments for them, shorten recovery time and to prevent relapses of the same injury. 

“Our mission is to prevent injuries and facilitate, as far as possible, sportsperson’s recovery. Agreements such as the one we are presenting today help improve the knowledge that we have about these diseases and have an impact not only on the improvement of the player’s performance but also on the improvement of the health of the overall population”, declared Jordi Monés, member of the FC Barcelona management team. 

According to the International Football Federation (FIFA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) the overall impact of injuries among professional football players is approximately 10 to 35 injuries per 1,000 playing hours, and approximately 1.8 to 7.6 injuries per 1,000 training hours. Moreover, 70% of injuries affect the lower limbs, with the most common being muscular injuries (30%). This means that a professional football team suffers an average of 12 muscular injuries every season, which represents more than 300 playing days lost. We have pooled our strengths and knowledge in biotech, innovation and articular healthcare for this project. And we are doing so because we believe that we must provide solutions; not only for elite sportspersons, but also for the average person, for seniors who suffer from loss of strength or muscular atrophy or for workers suffering from occupational diseases. “The fruits yielded by this alliance will help to improve the life quality of all of them”, affirmed José Escaich, managing director at Bioiberica. 

In order to find answers for these problems, they have launched a joint research unit formed by members of the MuscleTech Network (the scientific platform of the FC Barcelona and Leitat Foundations) and members of Bioiberica’s R&D Division. They are already working on a number of projects. “One of them is an experimental study to test different new treatments and to evaluate biomarkers that may warn us about the risk of injury, which will allow us to monitor treatments and forecast recovery times”, explained Dr. Josep Vergés, clinical pharmacologists and Medical and Scientific Director of Bioiberica’s Pharmascience Division. 

The collaboration agreement has a two year duration. New working guidelines will be defined depending on the findings achieved by the several ongoing projects.