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Partnering Opportunities at IMBA

IMBA conducts cutting-edge basic research in various fields of molecular biology and biomedicine. In addition to scientific publications, we aim to translate our research results and proprietary technologies into tools to facilitate new discoveries and products to address currently unmet medical needs and improve human health.  

IMBA is open for individual forms of technology transfer and eager to continuously expand our interactions with industrial partners. Since its foundation, IMBA has contributed to the incorporation of Austrian start-up companies, concluded numerous licensing agreements and entered into several research partnerships with biotech and pharma companies. A selection of most recent technology transfer activities can be found below.

The technologies and research projects that are currently available for licensing and/or partnering with industry or investors are listed here. For any further questions with respect to these partnering opportunities, please contact us directly.

Technologies & Projects available

Human Blood Vessel Organoids from Pluripotent Stem Cells for Disease Modeling and Drug Screening

Recent developments in the stem cell field facilitate the in vitro generation of complex tissue structures resembling whole organs. These organoids enable recapitulation of human disorders in culture and, in principle, provide unlimited amounts of healthy and diseased human tissue for drug screening and disease research. IMBA scientists have successfully generated functional human blood vessels from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) in cell culture that can also be transplanted into mice. 

IMBA is looking for partners in the field of metabolomic or vascular diseases to exploit its human blood vessel technology in customised screening approaches and disease models to develop new treatments for diabetic vascular complications, vascular disorders and non-healing wounds.

View full proposal (PDF)
Link to Research Group
Link to Scientific Publication
Link to Video Abstract

Highly Improved Reprogramming Efficiency for iPS cell Generation

Generating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with cellular reprogramming has become a broadly used experimental tool. Beyond its use in basic and biomedical research and disease modelling, iPSC reprogramming is employed in a wide range of medical applications. Increased efforts in the development of clinical applications for iPSCs in the field of regenerative medicine and cell therapy in particular have led to a high demand for reliable and efficient iPSC methodologies. IMBA scientists have developed a new method that has the potential to increase the efficiency of iPSC reprogramming by a factor of 100+. 

IMBA is looking for technology partners in the field of stem cell research or manufacturing to further develop the method to create a new generation of iPSC reprogramming kits and/or use the technology for iPSC contract manufacturing.

Link to Research Group
Link to IMBA Stem Cell Facility
Link to Scientific Publication

Novel Cancer Therapies: Highly Sensitive Screening Tool for Polycomb Repressive Complex Inhibitors

Aberrant epigenetic chromatin modifications are key drivers behind the deregulation of gene expression and development of disease. Chromatin-based repression of master regulatory genes is controlled by Polycomb Repressive Complexes (PRC1 and PRC2). Altered expression of PRC1 and PRC2 subunits are directly linked to tumorigenesis and therefore present potential targets for cancer therapies. IMBA scientists have developed a proprietary cellular screening tool in order to identify inhibitors of the Polycomb Repressive Pathway. This assay enables unbiased investigation of PRC targets, the high-throughput screening of numerous compounds and the identification of a new class of cancer drugs. 

IMBA is looking for licensing partners with business interests and R&D programmes in the field of Polycomb-based cancer therapies.

View full proposal (PDF)
Link to Research Group
Link to Scientific Publication

CRISPR Switch: Inducible sgRNA Expression for Tightly Regulated, Efficient & Safer CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing

CRISPR/Cas9 provides an easy, efficient and affordable tool for site-specific manipulation of genomes. Despite its promising characteristics, the technology needs further improvement, e.g. with regard to efficiency, regulation and reduction of off-target effects. To address these challenges, IMBA and Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities GmbH (VBCF) scientists have developed CRISPR switch (i.e. optimised sgRNA expression cassettes) to facilitate (i) tight ON and OFF switches of sgRNA expression, (ii) OFF switches without deletion of the guiding sequence for easy sgRNA target identification, (iii) consecutive sgRNA expression for studying aspects such as synthetic lethality, temporal order of lesions in tumour progression, etc. Importantly, CRISPR switch is compatible with variations of CRISPR such as CRISPR-a, CRISPR-i and others. 

IMBA is looking for licensing partners with business interests and R&D programs in the field of CRISPR/Cas9, i.e. screening, mutation analysis, safer genome editing, multiplexing and/or somatic gene therapy. 

View full proposal (PDF)
Link to Research Group
Link to Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities (VBCF)
Link to Scientific Publication

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED HUMAN 3D TUMOR MODELS FOR DISEASE MODELING AND COMPOUND EVALUATION

Human organoid tumour models have been generated by introducing oncogenic mutations during cerebral organoid formation via transposon- and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis. Based on clinically relevant mutations, the technology has been applied to generate central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumour (CNS-PNET)-like and glioblastoma (GBM)-like disease models. In contrast to patient-derived tumour models (xenografts, tumour cell lines), this novel platform technology allows defined genetic models to be created that contain tumorous and healthy tissue in the same organoid derived from the same human stem cell origin. Such disease models can be cultured over months and are suitable for various applications in the field of human disease modelling, drug discovery and therapy development.

IMBA is looking for licensing partners with business interests in the field of organoid technologies, preclinical testing or brain cancer therapies to exploit the proprietary disease models and/or to expand the technology platform further.

View full proposal (PDF)
Link to Research Group
Link to Scientific Publication
Link to Video Abstract

Some of our partnering opportunities are commercialised in cooperation with Ascenion, a German technology transfer organisation exclusively dedicated to life sciences.

If you are interested in a research collaboration or licensing agreement with IMBA or an investment into an IMBA spin-off company, please contact us. If you are interested but haven't found a matching project, send us an e-mail and we will keep you updated on any new partnering opportunities!

Recent technology transfer activities:

a:head bio AG

Development of new drugs for the treatment of brain disorders based on human cerebral organoids.

Spin-Off, Licensing and Collaboration Agreement

Link to 1. press release
Link to 2. press release
Link to scientific publication (cerebral organoids model human brain development)
Link to scientific publication (fused cerebral organoids)

Lexogen

Commercialisation of SLAMSEQ - a high-sensitivity method for time-resolved measurement of newly synthesized and existing RNA in cultured cells (marketed since October 2017).

Licensing Agreement

Link to Press Release
Link to Scientific Paper

Stem Cell Technologies

Commercialisation of a research reagent kit for establishment and maturation of human cerebral organoids based on IMBA’s proprietary cell culture protocol (marketed since July 2017).

Licensing Agreement

Link to Press Release
Link to Scientific Publication

Sylvia Weinzettl

Contact

Sylvia Weinzettl

+43-1-79044-4403

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