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Valais biotech Novochizol wins an international competition

Wednesday 13 October 2021

© Novochizol

Novochizol, a biotech company with a unique chitosan-based drug formulation nanotechnology, has been selected by Boehringer Ingelheim as one of the winners of the opnMe contest.

Novochizol, a start-up based at the BioArk in Monthey (canton of Valais), researches and develops applications of a unique chitosan-based nanotechnology. The company’s technology yields different carriers of small molecules, peptides, nucleic acids, proteins, viruses and cells for targeted delivery to any living tissue, offering customizable release properties and intracellular targeting potential.

Only eight months after its creation, the start-up has announced that it has been selected as one of the winners of the opnMe “innovative drug delivery solutions” contest.

opnMe.com is Boehringer-Ingelheim’s open innovation platform providing free access to a well-characterized set of preclinical molecules, to benefit drug discovery. In addition, scientists are invited to submit their research proposals as part of calls for collaboration for select molecules which are shared only for a brief period on opnMe.com.

An important step towards the development of new drugs

The objective of a recent call was to stimulate scientific understanding, and development of potential new technologies, for delivery of compounds with challenging solubility. Of some seventy proposals submitted by various research groups, nineteen were selected, among which is Novochizol’s first-in- class technology of drug impregnation and emulsification.

Yvan (Vanya) Loroch, CEO of Novochizol, commented: “We are thrilled to have been selected as one of the winners in a contest that is in essence a challenge to formulate very recalcitrant APIs. Of course, successful formulation of a drug candidate is only one of the many steppingstones in the complex journey of drug development. But it is an essential one, for even the most effective API offers no benefit if it cannot reach its biological target in a real-world setting. Winning this contest is thus ultimately about bringing to patients novel medicines that otherwise would never see the day.”

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