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IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology GmbH. (8/7/19). "Press Release: a:head bio – Launched to Transform CNS Drug Discovery".

Region Region Wien (Vienna)
  Country Austria
Organisations Organisation IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology GmbH
  Group Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)
  Organisation 2 a:head bio AG
  Group data AG
Products Product drug discovery
  Product 2 venture capital
Index term Index term a:head bio– data: investment, 201908– milestone-dependent 7-digit EUR seed investment by data AG in a:head bio AG
Persons Person Szolar, Oliver (a:head bio 201908– CEO + Co-Founder)
  Person 2 Streimelweger, Thomas ( data 201908 CEO)

a:head bio AG, an Austrian biotech company focusing on the development of next generation therapeutics for the treatment of brain disorders based on human cerebral organoids has recently been incorporated.

The new venture is based on groundbreaking technology developed at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology GmbH (IMBA) in Vienna, Austria and substantially funded by data AG, a Viennese high-tech holding company.

a:head has been co-founded by Jürgen Knoblich, IMBA´s scientific director and neuroscientist Madeline Lancaster from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), Cambridge, UK, who have been pioneering 3D in vitro modeling of the human brain to study psychiatric disorders.


Jürgen Knoblich, Scientific Director at IMBA, Madeline Lancaster, Principal Researcher who first developed the brain organoids when she was a PostDoc at IMBA and Oliver Szolar, CEO of a:head

‘CNS drug discovery is amongst the most challenging endeavours in the pharmaceutical industry,’ says Oliver Szolar, founding partner and CEO of a:head; ‘however, our disruptive technology using complex human brain tissue for drug design has the potential to herold a new era in the development of novel medicines for the treatment of brain diseases.’

‘We are very excited to have the opportunity to accompany a:head right from the beginning. We were immediately infected by this game changing technology and the spirit of the founders, both of which are important ingredients of a future success story,’ says Thomas Streimelweger, CEO of data AG and a:head’s chairman of the supervisory board.

‘Our cerebral organoids are a fascinating new tool that allows us to study neuro-psychiatric disorders in innovative ways we could not even imagine before,’ says Jürgen Knoblich, chairman of a:head’s scientific advisory board. ‘Now a:head will use this technology for the development of novel CNS therapeutics in a variety of underserved indications.’

About IMBA

IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology - is one of the leading biomedical research institutes in Europe focusing on cutting-edge stem cell technologies, functional genomics, and RNA biology. IMBA is located at the Vienna BioCenter, the vibrant cluster of universities, research institutes and biotech companies in Austria. IMBA is a subsidiary of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the leading national sponsor of non-university academic research. The stem cell and organoid research at IMBA is being funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and the City of Vienna.

About data AG data AG is an operative holding company engaged in the global penetration of highly scalable innovative technologies, utilizing & commercializing scientific IP and software.


a:head bio AG, Praterstrasse 1, Space 31, A-1020 Vienna, Austria
Oliver Szolar, CEO
+43 1 3660519 data AG, Graben 14/B26, A-1010 Vienna, Austria
Thomas Streimelweger, CEO
+43 664 3402678

IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology GmbH
Vienna BioCenter, Dr. Bohr Gasse 3, A-1030 Vienna, Austria
Evelyn Devuyst, Head of Communications and Partnerships
+43 699 12300904

Record changed: 2019-08-13


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