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Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS
Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS

Overview

The Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague) is a leading scientific institution in the Czech Republic, recognized internationally. Its primary mission is basic research in the fields of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, organic and material oriented chemistry, chemistry of natural compounds, biochemistry and molecular biology, physical chemistry, theoretical chemistry, and analytical chemistry.

Today, over 900 employees including 220 PhD students in 49 research and service groups are involved in a broad spectrum of disciplines, which results in more than 250 publications per year, including papers in the most cited prestigious journals such as Nature or Science.

The Institute’s emphasis on interaction between chemistry and other sciences leads frequently to medicinal applications. An integral part of the mission of the Institute is, therefore, to transfer the scientific results into assets which help people to live better lives.

Together with the research expertise, a system of technology transfer, IP management and commercialization have intensively been built-up. Through its subsidiary company IOCB TTO, the Institute helps scientists to transform ideas into patents and matches their research results with interests of commercial partners to bring novel ideas to human use or technology market.

Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences - About us

Highlights

Successful basic research and modern structure

The quality of IOCB science is regularly and rigorously assessed by an international advisory board comprised of respected authorities from research institutes and universities around the world. IOCB has pioneered a progressive system of junior groups with talented scientists from different countries hired in an open international competition, during which they demonstrate their unique expertise and submit scientific proposals. Every five years, all research groups undergo a complex evaluation that strictly adheres to transparent rules based on scientific merit.

Medicinal chemistry and drug development

IOCB has always been active and successful in applied research and practical applications, particularly in medicinal chemistry. The tradition started in 1969 with an ointment called Dermazulen, which was followed by the development of several human peptide hormones and their analogues (lysin-vasopressin, oxytocin).

From a global perspective, the most significant contributions were acyclic nucleotide phosphonate antivirals (especially tenofovir as a component of Truvada, Atripla, and other anti-HIV and anti-HBV drugs) discovered by Prof. Antonín Holý at IOCB and later developed and marketed by Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Besides this well-known antiviral drug story, several other nucleoside compounds developed at IOCB became approved drugs. These include Decitabine, which is used in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, Azacytidine, which targets myelodysplastic syndrome (both discovered by Holý’s peer Dr. Alois Pískala), and 9-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)adenine (DHPA), an acyclic nucleoside analogue discovered by Holý and used clinically in anti-herpes ointments.

Gilead Sciences Research Centre at IOCB Prague

Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS: Gilead Sciences Research Centre na ÚOCHB

The unique collaboration between IOCB Prague and Gilead Sciences, Inc. dates back to the 1990s. A partnership program called Gilead Sciences Research Centre at IOCB Prague was established in 2006 for an initial period of five years with an annual donation of $1.1 million to expand IOCB efforts in the field of human disease research. The program was renewed in 2011 and again in 2016 with increased annual funding of $1.35 million.

Registered drugs with active compounds originating from IOCB

Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS: Registered drugs with active compounds originating from IOCB: RED – obstetrics, DARK BLUE – diabetes insipidus, PINK – antiinflammatory and disinfectant, ORANGE – gastric ulcer bleeding, DARK GREEN – herpes simplex, GREY – cytomegalovirus retinitis, LIGHT GREEN – HIV infection and hepatitis B, LIGHT BLUE – hepatitis B, YELLOW – myelodysplastic syndrome, acute myeloid leukemia, MAGENTA – HIV infection

 

News

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Article | Video

Thanks to his new discovery, Pavel Hobza stands a great chance at rewriting the textbooks of physical chemistry

Pavel Hobza from the IOCB Prague and his team discovered improper hydrogen bond twenty years ago. Current discovery has the potential to simplify the previously adopted definition of the hydrogen bond.
Ústav organické chemie a biochemie AV ČR
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Article | Software

From a scientific project to a global business venture. The company mzio is striving to improve data analysis in mass spectrometry labs

A piece of software which enables researchers worldwide to speed up their work and helps them make scientific discoveries is expanding from science into commerce.
Ústav organické chemie a biochemie AV ČR
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