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03 Feb 2021 - PROXIDRUGS successful in Clusters4Future competition

As announced today, the PROXIDRUGS consortium led by IBC2 Director Ivan Đikić has been selected for funding within the Clusters4Future initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which aims at promoting regional innovation networks for the benefit of economy and society. PROXIDRUGS will be funded with up to 15 M € for the next three years, as only one of 7 clusters selected for funding from a total of 137 applications

The consortium concentrates on developing new treatments for diseases with high unmet medical need by utilizing the new concept of proximity induction in drug design. It is assumed that 80% of the proteins that are so far deemed as undruggable may be targeted by this strategy. “Proxidrugs open up exciting new therapeutic options in numerous diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration and infection. Proxidrugs can trigger degradation of disease-relevant proteins in a highly specific fashion by directing them towards the cellular recycling system”, explains Ivan Đikić. 

PROXIDRUGS has been set up as a regional network of partners from academia and industry, covering the entire value chain from basic to translational research. Academic participants are based at Goethe University Frankfurt, TU Darmstadt, University of Heidelberg, the MPI of Biophysics and the Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology, and they are closely working together with major pharma partners. 

At Goethe University, the Frankfurt Center for Innovation & Technologies will be established as academic innovation hub that provides the needed technologies to the consortium. Ivan Đikić adds: “The early and close collaboration between all partners marks the start of a new era in drug development within the Rhine Main region. This culture of teamwork and sharing knowledge paves the way for an efficient transfer towards therapeutic applications.”