It was exciting to the end: in a multi-stage competition, ten participants qualified for the final round of 155 entries. The two candidates belonged to one of the five industry-specific clusters. On the occasion of yesterday's award ceremony at the Paulinum University in Leipzig, the jury chose the overall winners of the 15th IQ Award for Innovation in Central Germany. There are Dr. Florian Kloß of Leibniz-HKI in Yeni, Ph.D. Julia Dreisbach from the University of Munich and Dr. Med. Uwe Müller, CEO of HAPILA GmbH in Geri. They represent a great team of scientists who want to connect a new active substance to the market.
The substance discovered in Leibniz-HKI and named BTZ-043 has already successfully completed Phase I clinical trials. Partners are currently preparing for entry into Clinical Phase II, where the drug will be applied to tuberculosis patients. BTZ-043 has a completely new mechanism of action and is therefore also effective against conventional antimicrobial resistant tuberculosis pathogens. This is an important advantage given the approximately 1.5 million deaths caused by tuberculosis worldwide every year. Particularity is financing the development of drugs from public funds. For example, the InfectControl 2020 research network, funded by BMBF, and the German Investigation Research Center and the Free State of Thuringia, sponsor a costly development with millions of euros, with the exception of the high own contributions of the mentioned partners.
This new development path provided good co-operation between a regional and interdisciplinary team. Thus, Leibniz-HKI establishes mostly valid bioanalytical methods and investigates the metabolism of BTZ-043 in the body. The University Hospital in Munich will act as a sponsor, taking over the overall responsibility, especially for conducting clinical trials. Colleagues deal with pre-clinical and clinical development. HapilA GmbH in Geri, as the founding active ingredient manufacturer, is responsible for the development of the synthesis process in accordance with the GMP directive and the production of the substance. Close co-ordination and continuous exchange of information between these teams can cope with the complex drug development program.
Metropoligion Mitteldeutschland Management GmbH, the host of the competition and the high-caliber jury with industry and science experts, adhere to the initiative of publicly funded antibiotic-based institutes, unique in Germany. Since most global pharmaceutical companies have withdrawn from a less lucrative job, this is primarily about politics.
For Central Germany this project has a strong signaling effect. If there is a chance to serve the global market with the approval of the tuberculosis market and thus create a viable job position in the region.
"This award is important in order to show actors in society, politics and economics the alternative ways of developing urgently needed medicines. In addition, we want to show the creative potential of central Germany in the field of infection control and drug development." Knitten by Leibniz-HKI in Yen.
The total prize money of 15,000 euros for the IQ competition is jointly awarded by the Gera Chamber of Commerce Leipzig, Halle-Dessau and East Thuringia. The winners will also be members of the Central European metropolitan region for a year.

scientific contact:
Dr. Florian knedla
florian.kloss@leibniz-hki.de

idw 2019/06