Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New method for testing drug function


Findings from basic research could facilitate drug development

The research group of Martin Denzel, group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging in Cologne has developed a method for defining the effectiveness of medicines.
The idea is funded by the EU with 150,000 euros for one year and enables the establishment of a company with which this method should become ready for the market.

The scientists Martin Denzel (links) und Moritz Horn from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging start up the new company ACUS

©Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”, says Martin Denzel about his new project which he advances with his postdoc Moritz Horn: the foundation of the ACUS Laboratories. The idea is based on the development of a method that will have great benefit for research and pharmaceutical companies.

The main focus during drug development for cancer for example lies mainly on the effectiveness of the substance. Where and how the drug actually works in the cell remains often unknown. ACUS Laboratories will close this gap of knowledge since their new method allows the precise localization and protein binding of the substance within the cell. With that not only the functionality of the drug can be revealed but also the drug can be further optimized for the depletion of undesired side effects.

“With our method, we can literally find the needle in the haystack", explains Denzel. This also explains the companies name ACUS Laboratories. “Acus is latin for needle”, adds the scientist.

The project has now also gained the attention from the European Union and was awarded with the “Proof of Concept” Grant. This research funding is only available for scientists who are already funded by the EU. With 150,000 euros for one year the grant offers the researchers the required freedom they need to found their company.

"During this year, Moritz Horn will drive the founding of the company," explains Denzel. For this, market analysis has to be carried out, a business plan needs to be developed and the new service further optimized.

An important step has already been completed: Martin Denzel and Moritz Horn found partners from science and industry. They work together with Josef Penninger and Ullrich Elling from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, Austria, who took a great part in the development of the new technique.

The Max Planck Innovation GmBH will also support the company founders together with the Lead Discovery Center. Furthermore, another big pharmaceutical company has expressed their interest in the new development.

This project of Martin Denzel shows that basic research, which initially focuses on pure knowledge, can produce results that have a high economic relevance. "We believe that our method has the potential to become a new standard procedure in drug development," says Denzel.

Dr. Annegret Burkert | Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie des Alterns
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>