The primary goal of the basic research investigations in molecular and biomedical biology at the Biozentrum is to investigate central questions about the smallest unit of life, the cell, as well as vital life processes more deeply – independent of any immediate practical applications. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of this, the research continues to lead to unexpected solutions to complex scientific problems and ultimately to knowledge, which can be applied to develop innovative products or technology.
As a rule, the development of a marketable product is carried out by a partner firm or by dedicated and business minded scientists, who, via a spin-off company, wish to bring their own product onto the market. Through a targeted information and promotion policy, the Biozentrum encourages its researchers to patent promising results and technologies, which could bring an added value, and to license these or, respectively, to consider using them as a basis for establishing a spin-off firm. By providing active support in realizing spin-off projects, the Biozentrum contributes greatly to securing the international competitive power and innovative strength of Switzerland as a center of thinking and productivity.
T3 Pharmaceuticals AG
Dr. Simon Ittig, Dr. Christoph Kasper and Dr. Marlise Amstutz have started their company T3 Pharmaceuticals in 2015. This Biozentrum spin-off emerged from a CTI sponsored project. The young entrepreneurs have developed a fast and simple method for the targeted delivery of diverse proteins into eukaryotic cells using a bacterial injection apparatus. T3 Pharmaceuticals is now developing this technology for its use in cancer therapy. Weblink
Aukera Therapeutics GmbH
Aukera Therapeutics was founded in 2021 by Dr. Stefan Imseng and Dr. Dritan Liko based on an Innosuisse-funded feasibility study. The spin-off from the Biozentrum possesses pioneering expertise to develop new therapies for patients suffering from mTOR-related disorders such as tuberous sclerosis, which causes tumor formation in various organ systems. Aukera’s discovery engine enables the development of new classes of pharmaceutical drugs to selectively target different branches of the mTOR pathway.
ARTIDIS AG was founded in 2014 by Dr. Marko Loparic, Dr. Marija Plodinec and Prof. Roderick Lim together with the company Nanosurf AG. Within the framework of a CTI funded project, the researchers developed a novel technology – ARTIDIS – for tissue diagnostics. ARTIDIS stands for “Automated Reliable Tissue Diagnostics”. This nanotechnology tool, which improves cancer diagnostics and prognosis, and contributes to the development of personalized therapies, is now being further developed by ARTIDIS AG towards a marketable product. Weblink
Santhera Pharmaceuticals Holding AG
In 2000, Dr. Thomas Meier founded MyoContract, the first spin-off at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. A company merger resulted in Santhera Pharmaceuticals for which Mr. Meier served as CSO from 2004 until end of 2019 and as its CEO between 2011 and 2019. The pharmaceutical company is specialized in the development and commercialization of innovative medicines to meet the needs of patients living with rare diseases. Weblink
SEAL Therapeutics AG
SEAL Therapeutics was founded in late 2021 by Prof. Markus Rüegg and Dr. Judith Reinhard at the Biozentrum and Dr. Thomas Meier, former CEO of Santhera Pharmaceuticals. The company develops its proprietary SEAL technology, an innovative gene therapy approach, as treatment for patients with laminin-α2 deficient congenital muscular dystrophy (LAMA2 MD). SEAL Therapeutics intends to team-up with and support a qualified pharma partner with experience in advanced gene therapy technologies for clinical development and registration with the ultimate goal to make this innovative treatment approach available to LAMA2 MD patients and their families. Weblink
The Biozentrum spin-off NXI Therapeutics, previously known as NextImmune, was founded in 2021 by Dr. Rajesh Jayachandran and focuses on the development of selective immunosuppressive therapy. This novel class of drugs specifically suppresses the immune system and prevents the rejection of transplanted organs and autoimmune diseases. NextImmune develops small molecules that interfere with the so-called coronin 1 signaling pathway, which plays a role in the activation of immune cells, and selectively suppress the immune response. In contrast to conventional, non-selective immunosuppression, the defense against infections or tumors is not affected. Weblink
Translation-X, launched in 2022 by Dr. Özgür Genç and Prof. Peter Scheiffele, is developing a precision medicine approach for core symptoms of autism-spectrum disorders. The spin-off emerged from the AIMS-2-TRIALS, a major EU-funded Innovative Medicines Initiative project, and then was recognized as an Innosuisse project. The team’s unique approach focuses on correcting dysregulated mRNA translation homeostasis and thus impaired neural signaling. The goal of Translation-X is to offer a therapeutic intervention that is beneficial to a specific sub-group of individuals with severe autism. Weblink