Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health
HMGU focuses on common diseases that arise from the complex interplay of individual genetic predisposition and environmental factors. To this end, a professional portfolio management of early drug discovery projects aims to identify novel drugs that tackle innovative targets such as, for example, protein-protein interactions. Current drug discovery projects internally funded by HMGU are in the fields of diabetes, neurodegeneration, infectious diseases and cancer.
The HMGU has various facilities and platforms to support early drug discovery in vitro and in cells, including protein expression, assay development and screening, and structure-based drug discovery using NMR spectroscopy, and X-ray crystallography. The Assay Development & Screening Platform at HMGU develops in vitro and (sterile) cell-based assays including stem cells and iPS cells. A novel Metabolomic Validation Platform (metDRUG) helps to decide on safe and metabolic-tolerable drugs at early stages of development by quantifying metabolites indicative for key pathways.
The drug discovery projects are supported by structural biology expertise and infrastructure. The Bavarian NMR Center (BNMRZ), a joint research infrastructure between HMGU and the Technische Universität München (TUM) performs NMR structural study of proteins and protein-ligand interactions on the highest international level. The BNMRZ is a leading NMR centre in Germany and an important partner of the Helmholtz Association. HMGU provides NMR-monitored fragment-based screening, hit validation and structural analysis of target proteins with biologically active molecules.
The experimental work of HMGU research centres is supported by a number of research groups focused on theoretical research. They develop new in silico methodology for ADME/T models, annotated chemical libraries and virtual screening.
The German Mouse Clinic, a renowned scientific platform for standardized phenotyping of mouse-mutants and an important partner of ESFRI-Infrafrontier, explores the systemic side-effects of small molecules in mouse models for a better understanding of pharmacologic intervention in human diseases.
The successful transfer of research results into clinical application has been shown by the approval of Removab®, a biopharmaceutical drug for the treatment of malignant ascites originating from HMGU.
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