10 Life Sciences Report – Drug Discovery and Development: New Drugs optimizing lead compounds, active drug transport technologies and drug formulation. Here are a few examples of successful deals and achieved milestones. 3B Pharmaceuticals GmbH (3BP), a private Berlin based biotechnology company closed a multi-year collaboration in the field of peptide-led drug discovery with Boehringer Ingelheim. Under the agreement, 3BP will employ its highdiversity peptide library and hit identification technology on a set of molecular disease targets nominated by Boehringer Ingelheim. Hit compounds identified will be further optimized and jointly characterized by both companies. As one of the top five non-clinical CROs worldwide, Citoxlab signs an investment and partnership deal with the Berlin located Experimental Pharmacology and Oncology Berlin-Buch GmbH (EPO). This investment in EPO, specialized in the pre-clinical assessment of new anticancer drugs, will benefit from many synergies with preclinical safety and biomarkers services. More than one hundred large pharma and biotech companies from Europe, Asia and North America have already used EPO’s services. ProBioGen AG, a premier service and technology provider for complex therapeutic antibodies and glycoproteins, closed a services and license agreement with Abcuro, Inc. Pursuing a new generation of immune modulatory biotherapeutics, Abcuro has developed a new first-in-class antibody for autoimmunity and oncology indications. Under the agreement, ProBioGen will conduct the full service package from cell line development using its CHO.RiGH expression platform over process development until GMP manufacturing. This was the fourth deal in 2019. Berlin-based chemistry-for-healthcare enterprise Belyntic GmbH has developed a novel manufacturing technology for pharmaceutically relevant biomolecules, especially chemically synthesized peptides. Belyntic’s proprietary PEC technology is based on innovative chemical linker molecules that enable an efficient and yet new way of purification and modification. This facilitates parallel purification for higher reliability in drug discovery as well as the manufacturing of more complex and therefore more targeted pharmaceutical ingredients, e.g. for personalized medicine. Biotech and pharma companies can make use of this novel approach by selecting Belyntic’s kit products or setting up a joint development project. Belyntic is a spin-off from Humboldt-University of Berlin, having started its R&D activities in 2016 and is now backed by a financing from Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) and Germany’s most active early stage investor, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF). Academic Research The development of new biomedical treatments is the main focus of today’s global biotechnology research. The capital region reflects this in its enormous pool of resources for everything from basic research, the development of new active substances to translational development and treatments. More than 24 universities and unique non-university research institutions with life sciences programs – including Max Planck and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft institutes, the Helmholtz Association and the Leibnitz Association as well as Europe’s largest university clinic, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin – make the German capital region one of the world’s leading life sciences locations. The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) alone currently has 1,600 employees and visiting scientists. In recent years, MDC has developed into an internationally recognized research institution. It is the only research center from Germany among the world’s top 20 institutes for molecular biology and genetics. The MDC is at the forefront of developing and applying the latest technologies, including single-cell analysis, RNA and DNA sequencing and multidimensional OMICS technologies. Such new technical developments often provide the decisive impetus for scientific breakthroughs. In close proximity to MDC, the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) is located on Campus Berlin- Buch. With more than 270 employees, FMP conducts basic research in molecular pharmacology with the goal of identifying new bioactive molecules and characterizing their interaction with their biological targets in cells or organisms. The FMP hosts the central open access technology platform of EU-OPENSCREEN, the ChemBioNet and the Helmholtz-Initiative in Drug Research, the Screening Unit. The Unit serves for systematic screening of large compounds or genome-wide RNAi libraries with state-of-the-art equipment like automated microscopes and microfluidic systems within EU, BMBF, DFG and regionally funded academic networks. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is one of the largest university clinics in Europe. Here, doctors and scientists research, heal and teach at the highest international level. Over 4,500 scientists are involved in countless projects, task forces and partnerships with top-level biomedical research in the Charité – Universitätsmedizin medical faculty. They focus on the translational synergy between experimental, molecularbiology-related basic research with patient-oriented, clinical applications.
Life Sciences Report – Drug Discovery and Development: New Drugs 11 © Martin Josef Smolka “We founded OMEICOS Therapeutics 2013 on the base of research results, generated at the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin-Buch. As pioneers in the field of synthetic omega-3 epoxyeicosanoid analogs, we are developing small molecules for cardiovascular and ophthalmic indications. Our lead candidate OMT-28 is currently tested in a clinical phase IIa/b trial with patients, suffering from atrial fibrillation. Soon, we plan to start also a clinical trial in an ophthalmic indication. We have raised 37 million EURO VC and public grant money so far and always were confident that Berlin is the right place to found and grow the company. Important ingredients for success are here: a vibrant innovative environment with well educated people, an excellent research and clinical landscape and with our premises at Campus Berlin- Buch, we have good and flexible access to lab and office facilities.” Dr. Karen Uhlmann OMEICOS Therapeutics GmbH, Founder and Director Legal Corporate & Operations MDC and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin pool their strengths in the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). The guiding principle is translational research combined with systems medicine’s interdisciplinary approach to bridge the gap between basic research and clinical application. Also as a common structure established by the MDC and the Charité Medical Faculty, the ECRC (Experimental and Clinical Research Center) integrates a critical mass of committed clinicians/scientists and translational researchers in the research-driven environment on the MDC Campus in Berlin-Buch and offers excellent opportunities for education in translational research and the development of clinician scientist careers. Networks The Network for Pharma Solutions, NetPhaSol, launched in May 2017, is a cooperation network focussing on drug discovery and development. It serves as a platform for research, development and marketing of new products, technologies and services in drug development. The primary focus are the first value chain stages of a drug development cycle – however, further development stages are not excluded and welcome. Currently NetPhaSol has more than 50 members of companies and research insititutions. The glyconet Berlin Brandenburg is the network of scientists and entrepreneurs in glycobiology and glycobiotechnology, located in the capital region Berlin Brandenburg. The professional network facilitates the identification of project partners, supports interdisciplinary collaborations between scientists and entrepreneurs, and represents interests towards political decision-makers in Germany.