Euronews TV Interview


Taros Chemicals, an independent, privately owned research and development company in Dortmund, operating as a service provider in the areas of chemistry, biotechnology, pharmaceutics and crop protection, welcomed the journalist Serge Rombi, known for his “Business Planet” magazine in the European TV broadcasting network, Euronews. The series zooms in on success stories of small medium enterprises (SME) in the European business community. The focus of his interview with Dr. Dimitrios Tzalis, CEO of Taros, was the “European Lead Factory” (ELF), the largest single funded Biotech project within the EU, boasting a staggering €196 million, initiated by the IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative), dedicated to early drug discovery in Europe, where, participating SMEs in medicinal chemistry, play a significant role in the ELF’s success.

Business Planet travelled to Dortmund to visit SME Taros Chemicals

The European Lead Factory aims to accelerate the development of innovative medicines. It’s a unique partnership between the world of researchers , the pharmaceutical industry and SMEs such as Taros, where flexibility and creativity are fundamental. “We are producing chemical compounds, that are going to be introduced into the European Lead Factory compounds collection, consisting of 500,000 compounds, which are going to be tested against potential drug candidates,” Taros CEO Dimitrios Tzalis told Euronews (continue reading: The vital role of SMEs in medical research)

ELF is on track

After three and a half years, the European Lead Factory (ELF), which was launched in 2013, has an impressive interim balance that meets its scientific and social mission. For example, the Swedish start-up company ScandiCure AB, was able to win over the state-owned Swedish venture capital company, GU Ventures, after a successful screening, based on the ELF chemical compound library. “Further screenings have already found their mark in first patents concerning bacterial multi-resistance, as well as cancer research,” explains Tzalis. As of August 2016, the ELF compound library (Joint European Compound Library), has grown to more than 450,000 compounds. More than 120,000 stem from the ELF-based SMEs in Germany, France, England and the Netherlands.

Overall, more than 160 doctoral students and post-doctoral students have been trained through this program’s initiative, in innovative industrial methods and approaches, for developing active pharmaceutical ingredients, by participating ELF partners in academia and SMEs. Until now, ELF research results have been published in more than 35 scientific articles.

Business Planet is a 3-minute TV magazine dedicated on SME success stories. Each story is broadcasted 15 times in 13 languages in 158 countries. Euronews reaches 10 million people worldwide everyday

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|

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