From molecule to medicine

Lead Discovery Center

The route to a new medicine is long and financially risky. Numerous projects involving biomedical basic research, from which promising active agents could result during the further course, are not therefore pursued with the necessary commitment. The academic world lacks the corresponding expertise, while the project is often too risky and rudimentary for industry. Against this background, the Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was founded by Max Planck Innovation in 2008.

The aim of the LDC is to close this gap between basic research as well as active agent development and marketing. The LDC spurs on projects from basic research, in which suitable target molecules (targets) are identified. To address these targets, which may be causal for the development of a certain disease, suitable active agent candidates are filtered out step by step in the LDC, which could form the basis for a new drug.

The projects that can originate from the research of the Max Planck Society or from other research institutes are refined into the so-called lead structure (“lead”). The LDC has already accepted a wide variety of projects, having successfully commercialized some of them.

Success of the LDC

  • 770 projects incubated
  • 23 patent applications
  • 15 partnerships concluded with industrial partners for the purpose of commercialization, including AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Daiichi Sankyo, Grünenthal, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Qurient and Sotio
  • 2 projects are currently in the preclinical development phase
  • 1 project in the clinical phase
  • 70 employees in Dortmund and Munich



Patent- & License Manager

Dr. Ingrid Kapser-Fischer

Nutritionist, M.Sc.

Phone: +49 89 / 29 09 19-19