Dec 2014


New York (USA) / Milan (Italy), 18th December 2014 –  The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and Axxam SpA (Axxam) announced today that ADDF has awarded a follow-on grant to Axxam to further develop small molecule drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease by targeting inflammation. This grant follows two previous awards by ADDF to Axxam in 2011 and 2013.

The award will continue to fund a drug discovery project to identify compounds that selectively block the purinergic receptor, P2X7, which is involved in inflammation in the brain.  Research activities  under the previous grants have identified a new class of promising P2X7 selective antagonists that are currently under full expansion as well as lead compounds suitable for in vivo assessment in pharmacological models.

“Compounds that potently and selectively block P2X7 may treat brain inflammation and can potentially be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases,” said Howard Fillit, MD, Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer, ADDF.  “P2X7 is an unexplored target for this indication and we are excited to fund the program and investigate its therapeutic potential.”

“We are very pleased to obtain continuing support from the ADDF with this peer-reviewed grant, which recognizes the quality of our research capabilities in the challenging field of neuroinflammation and our ability to deliver what was promised,” said Stefan Lohmer, co-founder and CEO of Axxam.  “We are looking forward to continuing to work with the ADDF team and further move our Alzheimer’s disease program forward.”

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Nov 2014

Axxam and F.Hoffman La Roche Ltd enter into research collaboration

Axxam SpA enters into research collaboration with F.Hoffmann – La Roche Ltd.
for assay development and screening of selected drug targets

Milan (Italy), November 19th, 2014 – Axxam SpA (Milan/Italy), a leading provider of discovery services has entered a collaboration with F. Hoffmann - La Roche Ltd to discover new small molecules targeting various targets across multiple disease areas. The collaboration will speed up the development of small molecule drugs by accessing Axxam’s specific target expertise and advanced screening technologies.

The  research collaboration  includes  assay development, adaptation to fully automated screening stations and HTS using  the compound collection of F. Hoffmann – La Roche Ltd. Identified Hits will be characterized and validated with mode of action studies and selectivity screens  using  Axxam`s proprietary cell lines. The activities will be carried out both at the Axxam site in Milan, as well as at Hit Discovery Constance (HDC) GmbH in Constance/Germany, a new joint venture organisation between Axxam (Milan/Italy), Lead Discovery Center (Dortmund/Germany) and Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3, KULeuven, Leuven/Belgium). Combined with HDC’s already established HTS services and compound storage facilities, Axxam represents one of the largest screening hubs worldwide.

Dr. Doris Hafenbradl, VP Discovery Services at Axxam and Managing Director at HDC commented: “The collaboration with F.Hoffmann – La Roche is a further demonstration that our key expertise in assay development and  HTS  is well recognized within the pharmaceutical industry. Our continuous investments in enabling screening technologies, combined with our science-driven attitude is absolutely crucial to generate and deliver excellent data quality. We are very pleased  that F.Hoffmann – La Roche has selected us as a partner and we  are looking forward to collaborate intensively and successfully with our colleagues  at  F.Hoffmann – La Roche.”

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Nov 2014


"Formazione di personale altamente qualificato orientato allo sviluppo dei vaccini contro agenti microbici responsabili di malattie infettive"

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Apr 2014

Axxam launches the ion channel-FLASH technology based on light mediated activation of voltage-gated ion channels

April 29th, 2014 – Axxam SpA (Milan/Italy), a leading provider of discovery services has developed ion channelFLASH, an innovative approach for the “in vitro” study of voltage-gated ion channels. Axxam scientists have turned the idea of target activation by light impulse into a new technology platform, which allows assays for voltage-gated ion channels to be run without the need of artificial activation with KCl.  

In the ion channelFLASH platform, the activation of a voltage-gated ion channel is triggered by a light impulse. This light impulse activates channel rhodopsin, a light sensitive ion channel cloned from the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinardti, which triggers a membrane depolarization thereby  activating the voltage-gated ion channels. Ion channelFLASH based assays can be used on FLIPRTETRA and other similar instruments which use LED-based photon generating systems eliminating time consuming, low throughput and expensive patch-clamp based methods for ion channel discovery research. The ion channelFLASH platform, which comprises different channel rhodopsin receptors, will be used to provide clients with a turnkey approach for the generation of innovative cell-based assays as research and screening tools for the important target class of voltage-gated ion channels.

The technology is based on a license agreement with Max-Planck-Innovation GmbH (München/Germany) for the use of biological photoreceptors to directly light-activate ion channels. Under the license, Axxam gains access to the channel rhodopsin technology discovered by Ernst Bamberg and Georg Nagel from the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics (MPI) and Peter Hegemann from the University of Regensburg, which is protected through several patent applications. The MPI is an Institute of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (“MPG”), Germany´s leading basic research organization.

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Jan 2014

Axxam and Cellectis bioresearch announce their collaboration to offer a new generation of cell-based assays

January 17th, 2014 – Axxam (Milan), a leading provider of discovery services including assay development for high throughput screening, and Cellectis bioresearch (Paris), the cell engineering expert, have started a collaboration to offer to the Life Science industry an extensive range of integrated discovery services based on genomic engineering technologies.

Under the joint offering, clients will be provided with a one-stop-shop approach for the generation of cell-based assays through genomic engineering. Genes of interest will be modified using Cellectis bioresearch’s proprietary genome engineering technologies, after which functional cellular assays will be developed using Axxam’s expertise and technologies for cell line generation. Both the required gene modification and the resulting functionality change will be experimentally demonstrated. Finally, validated assays for screening and profiling experiments will be provided to the client. With the currently available genome engineering technologies virtually any gene, at any position, in any cell type can be addressed for a wide range of applications such as knock-in insertions, knock-out deletions, reporter cell line generations and others.

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Jan 2014

Hit Discovery Constance GmbH: a new European hub for HTS and compound management

Constance (Germany), January 14th, 2014 – Today Hit Discovery Constance GmbH (“HDC”), a new joint venture organisation between Lead Discovery Center (Dortmund/Germany), Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3, KULeuven, Leuven/Belgium) and Axxam (Milan/Italy) has started its operation. The new company is based in Constance (Germany) and will make use of the already established equipment and know-how of the former Takeda/Nycomed/Altana screening and compound management facilities at the site.

HDC is a service oriented company which provides high quality drug discovery research services to the Life Science industry and academic or research institutions.

The offering includes assay development, High Throughput Screening (“HTS”) using radiometric formats, as well as conventional biochemical and cellular assay formats, automated High Content Screening (“HCS”) and Biosafety level 2 (BSL2) HTS. HDC’s labs are equipped with three state-of-the-art screening stations, a Screening Collection of 240.000 compounds and offer a REMP-based compound storage & handling facility which allows high quality storage and high throughput compound picking activities. Combined with Axxam`s already established HTS services and compound storage facilities, HDC represent one of the largest screening hubs worldwide.

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