Life Science Inventions on the Biovaria

Innovative technologies with high potential for pharmaceutical and biotech companies

© Ascenion

Max Planck Innovation and the Lead Discovery Center (LDC) are presenting their latest life science technologies at this year's Biovaria. The technology fair for life sciences will take place in Munich from March 24th to 25th, 2023 and brings together scientific research with representatives from industry, biotech and pharmaceuticals.

The first technology presented deals with in-gel fluorescence and represents a rapid, sensitive and quantifiable alternative to Western blots. Western blots are one of the most important methods for detecting proteins in the laboratory, but the technique has disadvantages such as cumbersome procedures that have to be adjusted depending on the target protein. The in-gel fluorescence method is faster, cheaper, more sensitive and reliable than western blots and does not require optimization for different samples. It enables the study of proteins by being able to directly compare signals on different gels. The method is based on the use of Connectase, an enzyme that selectively and specifically attaches fluorophores to target proteins that carry a short recognition sequence (CnTag). With this technology, proteins can be more precisely quantified, which offers new possibilities for the study of recombinant proteins. The technology, which does not require antibodies, has the potential to replace western blots with tag-specific antibodies that have been standard up to now and can also be adapted for automated capillary electrophoresis, microplate applications, flow cytometry or fluorescence microscopy in the future.

Another technology describes highly selective steroid sulfatase (STS) inhibitors for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and aging processes. In the central nervous system, steroid hormones act as modulators of neuroreceptors and are involved in various physiological processes. Most steroid hormones are subject to constant sulfation and desulfation, and the sulfated form of steroid hormones has been shown to be neuroprotective. Targeted inhibition of STS has neuroprotective potential by modifying levels of steroid hormones involved in various physiological processes such as inflammation and metabolic regulation. LDC has identified and tested a number of novel, selective and potent STS inhibitors that are now available as a starting point for the development of highly innovative drugs for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's or for anti-aging drugs.

Novel highly selective and covalent Akt inhibitors have great potential in oncology. The protein Akt is upregulated in 50% of all tumors and, for example, in vascular malformations and in certain overgrowth diseases (Proteus syndrome). There is still an urgent need for drugs with improved pharmacological properties in this area. LDC and its scientific partners have identified two new series of highly selective and allosteric-covalent Akt inhibitors that bind more efficiently to the molecular target. This novel drug class has already shown impressive in vivo efficacy in animal models. The inhibitors shrink the tumors in the mice while being well tolerated and could be used in the future to treat solid tumors (such as breast, prostate and ovarian cancer), glioblastomas, vascular malformations and overgrowth diseases. Investors are now being sought to set up a new company around this act inhibitor discovery platform.

"The Biovaria offers an excellent opportunity for us to present the latest technologies in the field of life sciences to a broad audience of industrial, pharmaceutical and biotech experts," says Dr. Sophia Hergenhan, patent and license manager at Max Planck Innovation, the central technology transfer organization of the Max Planck Society. "We are confident that these technologies have high potential for the development of new therapies and diagnostics and look forward to entering into further partnerships with companies interested in using our technologies." Companies can find out about the current technology offerings from the Max Planck Society at any time at

Biovaria is an annual event organized by Ascenion GmbH. It offers a platform for scientists, entrepreneurs and investors to exchange information about the latest developments in the field of life sciences and to establish new partnerships.

About the BioVaria

BioVaria is aimed at technology scouts, business developers and investors who are looking for commercially attractive licensing opportunities and promising start-ups from all over Europe. This unique event brings together Europe's leading tech transfer experts, academic innovators and start-ups with investors and representatives of the global biotech and pharmaceutical industry.


About LDC

Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. The LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals as well as candidate nomination. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from research and industry, the LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule and antibody leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential. LDC sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society, KHAN-I GmbH & Co.KG and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, Roche, Apeiron, e.g. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation.
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About Max Planck Innovation

As the technology transfer organization of the Max Planck Society, Max Planck Innovation is the link between industry and basic research. With our interdisciplinary team, we advise and support scientists at the Max Planck Institutes in evaluating inventions, filing patents and starting businesses. We offer industry central access to the innovations of the Max Planck Institutes. We are therefore fulfilling an important task: The transfer of results from basic research into commercially and socially useful products.
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