As of July 1st, the AiCuris-ICIQ Joint Unit will start its research activities. ICIQ and the German company AiCuris Anti-infective Cures GmbH have signed an initial contract to work on medicinal chemistry projects to be carried out by five ICIQ researchers.
AiCuris is a pharmaceutical company founded in 2006 as a spin-off from Bayer’s virology and bacteriology research department. The company focuses on the discovery, research and development of novel, resistance-breaking antiviral and antibacterial agents for the treatment of severe and potentially life-threatening infectious diseases. “We see great potential for this Joint Unit with ICIQ, not only in terms of generating results but also with regards to interactions with our extended network of collaborators, including other ongoing activities at ICIQ, ” says Dr. Helmut Buschmann, Head of Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Development and Patent Affairs in AiCuris.
ICIQ and AiCuris started working together in 2015. Since then, their collaboration has steadily grown and expanded into different aspects of AiCuris’ drug discovery and development activities. Among the collaborations both ICIQ and AiCuris are involved in is VIRO-FLOW, an industrial Innovative Training Network (Horizon 2020). “In AiCuris we have found an ideal industrial partner for ICIQ, as we collaborate in highly innovative projects where both parties develop new technologies and products, as well as in projects supporting AiCuris’ drug development activities. The addition of the AiCuris-ICIQ Joint Unit opens a new and very exciting area of collaboration,” says Prof. Miquel A. Pericàs, ICIQ Director.
ICIQ-Industry joint units are a unique formula for large collaborative research projects. These kinds of collaborations involve one exclusively dedicated laboratory, take advantage of ICIQ group leaders’ assessment and of ICIQ’s state-of-the-art instrumentation facilities. The collaborations have an 11-year track record at ICIQ. In the past, the institute has established joint units with two other companies: Esteve, from 2009 until June 2020; and Henkel, from 2010 until March 2019.