ZeClinics and Taros to develop new heart regeneration therapies

Barcelona, Spain & Dortmund, Germany, 30. January 2019 ++++ 

ZeClinics SL, a biotech firm focused on preclinical services with zebrafish, announced today that they have entered into a joint research agreement with Taros Chemicals GmbH, a company specializing in drug discovery and medicinal chemistry research, to develop novel therapies for the treatment of ischemic heart disease.

“We are thrilled that Taros has joined our efforts to identify therapeutic targets promoting heart regeneration after ischemic injury. Their extensive knowledge in drug discovery including computer-aided drug design will prove pivotal in identifying hit and lead compounds,” said Dr. Simone Calzolari, chief commercial officer at ZeClinics. “Ischemic heart disease represents the leading cause of death worldwide, so any progress made in cardiac regeneration therapies could literally benefit millions of people everywhere”.

Taros Chemicals will be responsible for hit generation and optimization, the chemical part of the project, involving in silico screening as well as chemical synthesis of the hit candidate compounds in sufficient amounts to allow disease-specific profiling. ZeClinics in turn will evaluate the pro-regenerative function of candidate genes, the biological part of the project, through the development of zebrafish transgenic models and the in vivo characterization of relevant cardiovascular parameters with their ZeCardio software platform. The unique combination of cutting-edge methodologies and analytical proficiency from both companies will streamline the discovery of heart regeneration biomarkers and lead molecules.

“Cardiac regeneration can effectively compensate the loss of cardiac muscle after ischemic injury but molecular mechanisms enabling it are dormant in humans,” said Dr. Torsten Hoffmann, Senior Vice President Drug Discovery at Taros. “Fortunately, zebrafish cardiomyocytes have preserved the ability to proliferate after infarction, so by sharing ZeClinics’ expertise in zebrafish and CRISPR genome editing we have an exciting opportunity to discover and design new molecules promoting heart functional recovery upon ischemia.”

This ambitious CARDIOREG program falls under the German-Catalonian Joint Research and Development Project, an international partnership framework between Germany and Catalonia (Spain) aimed to promote the development of innovative products, technology-based services or methods in application areas with a strong market potential. The project, which will span a three-year period, will be overseen by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the Catalan Agency for Competitiveness of the Catalan Ministry of Industry (ACCIÓ) and management agency AiF Projekt GmbH.

About Zeclinics SL

ZeClinics is an innovative biotech firm committed to streamlining discovery and preclinical development of novel compounds with zebrafish, an ideal vertebrate model for fast, cost-effective and highly predictive assessments. ZeClinics combines in-house academic expertise with a diversified, cutting-edge portfolio: from CRISPR-licensed gene editing, high-throughput safety and efficacy assays to disease models. For more information, please visit or contact ZeClinics.

About Taros Chemicals

Taros is a privately owned discovery chemistry company, working with global pharmaceutical, biotech and chemical companies since 1999. Alongside our performance chemicals and material science division, Taros’ drug discovery mission is to create drug candidates as potential new medicines. Taros has a strong scientific track record on many biomolecular targets in all main therapeutic areas and thereby adding considerable value to collaborations from target validation and hit identification to lead generation and optimization. Taros’ core expertise ranges from custom synthesis and process development to modern medicinal and computational chemistry, as well as compound library design and production.
Taros was heading the chemistry efforts of the EUR 196 million funded European Lead Factory (2013-2018) and is currently heading its EUR 36.5 million funded continuation (2019-2022). Moreover, Taros is deeply engaged in other research alliances like the EUR 11 million funded Drug Discovery Hub Dortmund.

Press Contact:
Youri R. Mesmoudi, Executive Vice President, e-mail: innovation |at|

Acknowledgement of support

CARDIOREG falls under the German-Catalonian Joint Research and Development Project. The project will be overseen by the German BMWi, the Catalan ACCIÓ and AiF Projekt GmbH.

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