Partners in the iCAIR® consortium

Pooled expertise against deadly pathogens

Thanks to the pooled expertise of the partners, the iCAIR® consortium is in a position to identify completely new active agents against relevant and often deadly pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Aspergillus fumigatus and to develop them to candidate drugs. Furthermore, the scientists of the consortium identify new compounds that are effective against known viral targets such as hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) and neuraminidase (NA). These are highly relevant in the progression of human parainfluenza virus and influenza infections.

In selected lighthouse projects, iCAIR® has established its position as an expert preclinical development platform for new anti-infective drugs. 

Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM

For several decades, research at Fraunhofer ITEM has been focused on respiratory health and disease as well as inhalation, with infection research emerging as a key research topic. Fraunhofer ITEM specifically focuses on translation, enabling new compounds or products to reach the next step along the value chain. Therefore, Fraunhofer ITEM has established outstanding systems for the non-clinical evaluation of drug candidates for the treatment of respiratory diseases, ranging from in vitro cell models to whole-organ and in vivo models, including inhaled administration to the lung as target organ. Furthermore, Fraunhofer ITEM is one of very few institutions worldwide to use the advanced ex vivo test system or precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) for efficacy and toxicity testing on viable human lung tissue. Fraunhofer ITEM is equipped with an up-to-date GXP platform, offers regulatory toxicology and safety pharmacology and has ample experience with documentation for regulatory authorities.

Go to the Fraunhofer ITEM website

Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University (IfG)

The Institute for Glycomics (IfG) is one of Australia’s flagship multidisciplinary biomedical research institutes. Established in February 2000, the institute strives to be a world leader in the discovery and development of next-generation drugs, vaccines and diagnostics in the fight against diseases of global impact. IfG’s unique focus is on glycomics, a constantly expanding field that explores the structural and functional properties of carbohydrates (sugars). The institute’s research primarily targets prevention and cures for cancers and infectious diseases, with a focus on translational research. IfG has a strong track record in the structural and functional characterization of enzymes and in rational drug design, and offers cutting-edge technologies and expertise to pursue this goal. IfG director Mark von Itzstein previously led the discovery of the blockbuster anti-influenza drug Zanamivir (Relenza®).

Go to the Institute for Glycomics website

Institute for Clinical Biochemistry, Hannover Medical School (MHH)

MHH’s Institute for Clinical Biochemistry is dedicated to basic research in glycobiochemistry and has ample experience in the characterization of proteins and enzymes involved in glycosylation pathways. A special focus is on the roles of such factors in health and disease and their exploitation for disease prevention or therapy, e.g. as drug targets or for vaccine production. For drug development, the institute follows rational approaches that begin with the identification, validation and characterization of drug targets. Informed by structural and functional data, drug candidates are identified by both stochastic (screening) and rational (drug design) measures and are optimized in iterative cycles of modification and in vitro testing. Beyond classic approaches to drug development, the institute studies allosteric mechanisms in order to circumvent problems of drug cross-reactivity.

Go to the Hannover Medical School website

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)

The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) is the largest scientific institution in Germany solely focused on infection research. Scientists at HZI analyze the fundamental principles of infection processes from both the pathogen and the host sides and develop innovative new approaches towards prevention, diagnosis and therapy of infectious diseases. The institution pursues a highly interdisciplinary research concept based on profound expertise in the mechanistic exploration of host-pathogen interactions as well as internationally renowned natural product research. HZI operates at the interface of basic research and clinical application, building on strong partnerships with clinics and industry and developing the results towards their application. In 2008, HZI and MHH together founded the translational research center TWINCORE, where medical personnel and basic research scientists from various disciplines conduct infection research side by side.

Go to the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research website