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- 07/18/2022


Chimica Oggi-Chemistry Today


IBSA Institute Biochimique SA is pleased to announce that it has signed a collaboration agreement with Choose Life Biotech (CLB) to investigate innovative and cutting-edge areas of pharmaceutical research projects.

CLB is an independent Biotech company, based in Bellinzona (CH), partner of the BIOS+ (Bellinzona Institutes of Science) research institutes IOR (Institute of Oncology Research) and IRB (Institute for Research in Biomedicine).

The company was founded by Luca Varani together with the manager Vincenzo Martino, with the aim of exploiting the long and successful experience matured in the field of recombinant proteins and antibodies. “Having worked at Cambridge and Stanford, I witnessed the birth of many successful start-ups”, commented Luca Varani, CLB Founder and IRB Group Leader, “I am extremely happy and grateful for the opportunity to create something similar in Bellinzona. I am convinced that the collaboration with a big company as IBSA will allow us to develop innovative pharmaceutical approaches.”

CLB specialises in pre-clinical drug development through molecular engineering of nano-antibodies, natural molecules of the immune system that can precisely engage a desired target for therapeutic and diagnostic applications.

Vincenzo Martino, CLB Chairman and Co-founder, remarked: “I am happy and honoured to support this entrepreneurial adventure, that has excellent opportunities to bring innovative results over time in the field of immunotherapy. I am bringing my managerial experience gained in pharmaceutical and financial contexts at the service of the company, enabling the newly born organization to fully exploit the potential of its excellent scientific team’.

With this agreement, IBSA broadens its field of action and opens up new therapeutic perspectives.

“We have a very strong know-how in state-of-the-art biomolecules and biotechnology. The partnership with Choose Life Biotech will expand IBSA’s Research & Development activities in new areas with strong therapeutic interest for the next few decades. I am very happy and excited to be part of this adventure” – said Tiziano Fossati, Head of R&D Pharmaceutical at IBSA. “Immunotherapy is growing stronger and faster, with continuously increasing numbers of products on the market for the treatment of conditions with few alternative therapeutic options available. Nano-antibodies represent an exciting development in immunotherapy, with molecular and industrial peculiarities opening up novel opportunities in the global market”.

Giuseppe Mautone, Head of R&D Scientific Affairs at IBSA, added: “Antibodies represent the present and future of pharmacology in cancer, chronic and infectious diseases, with important advantages for the patient, such as absent or reduced side effects thanks to their target specificity. Nano-antibodies have molecular properties that allow them to be successful where conventional antibodies fail”.

Mario Branda, Mayor of Bellinzona, expressed his satisfaction with the establishment of CLB: “We are particularly happy with this new reality involving our city. The arrival of CLB is a further step towards the creation of a biomedicine research center that Bellinzona has been pursuing, also with significant investments – for example through the contribution of CHF 12.8 million for the new headquarters of the Biomedicine Research Institute (IRB, Istituto di ricerca in biomedicina) and the Oncology Research Institute (IOR, Istituto oncologico di ricerca) inaugurated last year, and the purchase of the previous IRB headquarters for 6 million – since the late 1990s, when what we can now call reality was only a vision. Thanks to the partnership with IBSA, we are certain and confident that the development of CLB in Bellinzona will make a further contribution to our project, which has a strong strategic value for the region and for Ticino.