The new venture is based on groundbreaking technology developed at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) in Vienna, Austria and substantially funded by red-stars.com data AG, a Viennese high-tech holding company.
a:head has been co-founded by Jürgen Knoblich, IMBA´s scientific director and neuroscientist Madeline Lancaster from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), Cambridge, UK, who have been pioneering 3D in vitro modeling of the human brain to study psychiatric disorders.
‘CNS drug discovery is amongst the most challenging endeavours in the pharmaceutical industry,’ says Oliver Szolar, founding partner and CEO of a:head; ‘however, our disruptive technology using complex human brain tissue for drug design has the potential to herold a new era in the development of novel medicines for the treatment of brain diseases.’
‘We are very excited to have the opportunity to accompany a:head right from the beginning. We were immediately infected by this game changing technology and the spirit of the founders, both of which are important ingredients of a future success story,’ says Thomas Streimelweger, CEO of red-stars.com data AG and a:head’s chairman of the supervisory board.
‘Our cerebral organoids are a fascinating new tool that allows us to study neuro-psychiatric disorders in innovative ways we could not even imagine before,’ says Jürgen Knoblich, chairman of a:head’s scientific advisory board. ‘Now a:head will use this technology for the development of novel CNS therapeutics in a variety of underserved indications.’
IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology - is one of the leading biomedical research institutes in Europe focusing on cutting-edge stem cell technologies, functional genomics, and RNA biology. IMBA is located at the Vienna BioCenter, the vibrant cluster of universities, research institutes and biotech companies in Austria. IMBA is a subsidiary of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the leading national sponsor of non-university academic research. The stem cell and organoid research at IMBA is being funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and the City of Vienna.
About red-stars.com data AG
red-stars.com data AG is an operative holding company engaged in the global penetration of highly scalable innovative technologies, utilizing & commercializing scientific IP and software.