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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 as well as 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 such technology transfer activities and the projects that are currently available for partnering can be found below.

Recent technology transfer activities:

a:head Bio AG

(Spin-Off, Licensing and Collaboration Agreement)
Development of new drugs for the treatment of brain disorders based on human cerebral organoids.
Link to press release
Link to scientific publication

Apeiron Biologics

(Licensing Agreement)
Development of novel Cbl-family protein inhibitors to modulate the activity of the immune system in the prevention and treatment of cancer and infectious diseases.
Link to press release
Link to scientific publication

Lexogen

(Licensing Agreement)
SLAMSEQ - an innovative sequencing method developed at IMBA - to be Marketed Internationally.
Link to Press Release
Link to Scientific Paper

Stem Cell Technologies

(Licensing Agreement)
Commercialization of a research reagent kit for establishment and maturation of human cerebral organoids based on IMBA’s proprietary cell culture protocol.
Link to Press Release
Link to Scientific Publication

Projects available

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

Recent developments in the stem cell field allow the in-vitro generation of complex tissue structures resembling wholeorgans. These organoids allow for recapitulation of human disorders in culture and in principle provide unlimited amountsof healthy and diseased human tissue for drug screening and disease research. IMBA scientists have successfully generatedfunctional human blood vessels from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) in cell culture that can further be transplantedinto mice. IMBA is actively seeking industrial partners to exploit its human blood vessel technology in customized screening approaches and disease models to study diabetic vascular complications and inherited vascular disorders.

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

Highly Improved Reprogramming Efficiency for iPS cell Generation

Generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by 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. Especially the increased efforts in the development of clinical applications for iPSCs in the field of regenerative medicine and cell therapy lead to a high demand for reliable and efficient iPSC methodologies. IMBA scientist 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 into a new generation of iPSC reprogramming kits and/or use the technology for iPSC contract manufacturing.

View full proposal (PDF)
Link to Research Group
Link to IMBA Stem Cell Facility
Link to Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities (VBCF)

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

Aberrant epigenetic chromatin modifications are key drivers behind 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 for identifying 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 actively seeking for licensing partners with business interests 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. optimized sgRNA expression cassettes) to facilitate (i) tight OFF and ON switches of sgRNA expression, (ii) OFF switches without deletion of the guiding sequence for easy sgRNA target identification, (iii) optimized sgRNA scaffolds for efficient genome editing and (iv) consecutive sgRNA expression for studying e.g. synthetic lethality, temporal order of lesions in tumor progression etc. Importantly, CRISPR switch is compatible with variations of CRISPR such as CRISPR-a, CRISPR-i and others. IMBA is actively seeking for licensing partners with business interests in relevant areas of application, i.e. screening, mutation analysis, safer genome editing, multiplexing and/or somatic gene therapy.

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

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

Human organoid tumor 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 tumor (CNS-PNET)-like and glioblastoma (GBM)-like disease models. In contrast to patient derived tumor models (xenografts, tumor cell lines) this novel platform technology allows to create defined genetic models 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 modeling, drug discovery and therapy development.

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

Some of our parterning opportunities are commercialized in cooperation with Ascenion, a German technology transfer organization 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!

Dipl. Kfm. Michael Krebs, Executive MBA

Contact

Dipl. Kfm. Michael Krebs, Executive MBA
Administrative Director

+43-1-79044-4400