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 World’s Largest Study on Allergic Rhinitis Reveals new Risk Genes
17.07.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Plant mothers talk to their embryos via the hormone auxin
17.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>