“CNS drug discovery is amongst the most challenging endeavours in the pharmaceutical industry, however, our disruptive technology using human brain organoids for drug design has the potential to herald a new era in the development of novel medicines for the treatment of brain diseases.” says Oliver Szolar, founding partner and CEO of a:head.
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. The company is currently situated in the weXelerate hub in the offices of red-stars.com, a high-tech holding company that invested into the disruptive venture recently. In March 2020, a:head assumes to move its operation to the Startup Labs Vienna Biocenter, which are currently being established by the Wirtschaftsagentur Wien.
The new venture is based on groundbreaking technology developed at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) in Vienna, which has i.a. a strong focus on stem cell and organoid research, neurobiology and disease modeling. Their work on human brain organoids has been recognized as revolutionary by the scientific community worldwide. Now a:head will use this technology for modeling of various complex brain disorders using gene editing tools (molecular scissors) and will start working on the Dravet Syndrom, a severe epileptic encephalopathy as a first disease target.
picture: Oliver Szolar, a:head bio AG, Thomas Streimelweger, red-stars.com data AG, Michael Krebs, IMBA (from left to right)