a:head - launched to transform CNS drug discovery

a:head bio AG, an Austrian biotech company focusing on the development of next generation therapeutics for the treatment of brain disorders based on human cerebral organoids has recently been incorporated.

The new venture is based on groundbreaking technology developed at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology GmbH (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.’

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