NovAliX and Max Planck join forces to advance Cryo-EM driven drug discovery

  • The collaboration will make vital process of translating scientific research and academic insights into real therapies more efficient and more effective.

  • The partnership will harness and enhance unparalleled expertise in Cryo-EM.

  • Max Planck scientists began operations in January 2024 at NovAliX’s Strasbourg research center (France) to tackle oncology and anti-infective projects.

NovAliX, a specialized contract research organization dedicated to enabling drug discovery, today announces its long-term strategic partnership with the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Multidisciplinary Sciences. Through this collaboration, NovAliX and the MPI aim to make the vital process of translating scientific research and academic insights into real therapies more efficient.

Holger Stark, Managing Director at the MPI and leader of the Department of Structural Dynamics, highlights the potential of this partnership to propel progress and transformative advancements in the field of drug discovery: “The endpoint of fundamental academic research is still considerably distant from the initial stages of drug discovery. Bridging these phases is substantially important; the MPI’s and NovAliX’s complementary expertise will be essential for fostering successful therapeutic development.” This partnership will enable crucial early-stage collaboration, fusing the potential of the MPI experts’ groundbreaking discoveries and NovAliX’s award-winning scientists, and streamlining the integration of academic insights into drug development.

Drawing on two decades of experience in the dynamic biopharmaceutical industry, Denis Zeyer, CEO of NovAliX, underlines the importance of collaborative frameworks between academia and drug discovery: “It is more costly and more risky than ever before to identify and bring new medicines to market. The current model is unsustainable. Bringing academic research deeper into the process can only increase the odds of success for therapeutic opportunities.” Zeyer also stresses the significance of relationships cultivated over the years: “As a spin-off of academic institutions, NovAliX places immense value on such connections.” This is exemplified by its longstanding relationship with Stark, as well as by its joint exploration into the field of Cryo-EM.

Contract research organizations such as NovAliX have emerged as pivotal players in the drug discovery industry, providing the organizational framework, flexibility, expertise and efficiency required for early-stage pharmaceutical research. This collaboration with the MPI marks their increasing role as active partners in the evolving drug discovery landscape, enabling academic research to help realize therapeutic innovation.

Ashwin Chari, head of the research group Structural Biochemistry and Mechanisms at the MPI, acknowledges the challenges both in the anti-infectives and oncology fields but stresses his optimism about “translating their discoveries into impactful treatments.”

Stephan Jenn, NovAliX President and co-founder, describes the partnership with the MPI as a remarkable opportunity: “to forge a unique alliance that contributes not just to European, but global, scientific development. Involving the best minds from academia and drug development and discovery can only make for better science, better outcomes and better answers.”

(After a press release by NovAliX)

About Cryo-EM
Cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) is an imaging technology used to view the structures of biomolecules at atomic resolution. This involves flash-freezing biological samples, imaging them with an electron microscope and then reconstructing the images into a 3D model. Cryo-EM has revolutionized structural biology, especially for large and complex molecules that are hard to crystallize for X-ray crystallography. Cryo-EM has become a crucial tool in understanding molecular biology and aiding drug discovery.

About NovAliX
NovAliX is a fully integrated drug discovery contract research organization in Strasbourg (France) supporting therapeutic programs from target identification to the delivery of preclinical candidates. It enables successful drug discovery programs and is active in a variety of therapeutic areas ranging from oncology to inflammation, fibrosis, infectious diseases, and kidney disease.

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