SEPT 2019

Horizon 2020

European Union awards InterAx with Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 for the integration of machine learning into the InterAx systems biology platform for drug discovery


Villigen – Switzerland, Brussels – Belgium, 25th September 2019 Villigen

InterAx Biotech AG today announces the support of the highly competitive Phase 2 European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation program for Small to Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) for its technology platform PICARD with a total project volume of 2.49M EUR. With the received funding, InterAx will expand both its technology development and boost its commercialization and market penetration efforts. 

Aurélien Rizk, CTO of InterAx Biotech explains: “The InterAx technology is a disruptive drug candidate-discovery platform that integrates a mathematical description of biological systems into drug exploration. This so-called systems biology approach is a first-of-its-kind technology that allows for advanced drug candidate selection. PICARD will allow us to now design lead molecules by integrating artificial intelligence into our systems biology platform. By doing this, we will be able to explore new chemical space and accelerate the discovery process of advanced lead molecules targeting G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs).” 

As for the commercial aspects of PICARD, InterAx will get support by the EC to further implement its commercialization plan. Rizk adds: “We have already entered the market with several customer projects and know that the PICARD platform will bring even more value to our Biotech and Pharma partners.”

The team thanks the European Commission for the trust received. 

The European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program supports breakthrough innovation projects with a market-creating potential. The SME instrument boosts fast company growth and market-creating innovation thanks to staged funding and ramped up business acceleration services.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 880322.

For more information read the latest interview with Aurélien Rizk by Eugen Stamm.


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AUG 2019

InterAx Biotech and Boehringer Ingelheim collaborate for enabling the in-depth characterization of drug candidates using the proprietary InterAx systems biology platform

Biberach, Germany and Villigen, Switzerland – 6th of August 2019

InterAx Biotech AG announced today that it has entered an agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim to enable the in-depth characterization of drug candidates using the proprietary InterAx systems biology platform. InterAx and Boehringer will collaborate to characterize drug candidates for an undisclosed target. “We are looking forward to combining our unique technology with the expertise of Boehringer Ingelheim to identify compounds with superior biological properties for one of Boehringer’s target receptors”, says Maria Waldhoer, CSO at InterAx. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

About InterAx
InterAx Biotech AG is pioneering computational pharmacology for drug discovery. The Swiss company is uniquely positioned to assist drug candidate design and selection for G protein-coupled receptors in collaborative projects with Biotech and Pharma companies. InterAx applies mathematical models and simulations to in-house derived bioanalytical data in order to address the complexity of drug-induced cellular signaling mechanisms.


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MAY 2019

Next EU Training Network ONCORNET2.0 on oncogenic GPCR networks


The EU has granted 4M euro to Martine Smit and Jacqueline van Muijlwijk (Medicinal Chemistry, AIMMS, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and colleagues from academia and SMEs from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, UK and Switzerland.

ONCORNET2.0 builds on the success of ONCORNET (Oncogenic GPCR Network of Excellence and Training), a first-in-kind ITN in GPCR drug discovery that has successfully delivered scientific advance and training to talented early stage researchers (ESRs) ( ONCORNET2.0 will incorporate recent scientific and technological breakthroughs to understand and target two oncogenic G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs); the chemokine receptors CXCR4 and ACKR3 (CXCR7). These are highly expressed in multiple tumours but their role in cancer progression remains poorly understood. We will develop new strategies for CXCR4/ACKR3 modulation and investigate their effects on oncogenic responses, to yield key new knowledge and potential leads for drug development.

ONCORNET2.0 will bring together the leading GPCR research groups in Europe and will educate the next generation of young researchers (15 PhD students) by a multi-disciplinary training. This programme integrates both research (e.g. drug discovery, proteomics, imaging) and transferable (e.g. entrepreneurship, academic writing, media training) skill sets through blended learning. This will ensure that the ESRs can effectively operate in today’s drug discovery programs and will increase European competitiveness in the field of drug discovery.

Academic groups:

  • Martine Smit, Jacqueline van Muijlwijk, Rob Leurs, Iwan de Esch (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL)
  • Steve Hill, Meritxell Canals, Steve Briddon (University of Nottingham, UK)
  • Philippe Marin, Thierry Durroux, Sébastien Granier, Jean Philippe Pin (CNRS, FR)
  • Martin Lohse (Max-Delbruck-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin, DE)
  • Carsten Hoffmann (Universitätsklinikum Jena, DE)
  • Françoise Bachelerie, Géraldine Schlecht-Louf (INSERM, FR)
  • Federico Mayor, Petronila Penela (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, ES)
  • Graeme Milligan, Gerry Graham (University of Glasgow, UK)

  • QVQ (Raimond Heukers, NL)
  • InterAx Biotech (Maria Waldhoer, CH)

Other partner organisations are: Cisbio/ PerkinElmer (Eric Trinquet, FR), Sosei Heptares (Chris de Graaf, UK), ALMAC (Alastair Hay, UK), Promega (Rachel Ohana, Keith Wood, US) and Learning By Simulation (LBS) (Leon Delbressine, NL).