PIQUR secured funding to start the development of innovative anti-cancer therapies. Successful spin-off of the University of Basel

PIQUR Therapeutics AG is a targeted cancer therapy start-up company focused on the discovery and the development of innovative anti-cancer drugs. PIQUR was incorporated in August 2011 as a spin-off of the University of Basel. PIQUR’s pipeline originates from one of the most promising research areas in oncology.

Financing for the preclinical development has been secured in seed funding in October 2012 from private investors and the Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency KTI/CTI. In addition to that PIQUR is enjoying unique support by its hosting University of Basel, both in terms of IP funding and the use of laboratories and support. These funds will be spent for the preclinical pharmacology and regulatory toxicology studies and the operational set-up of the company.

Exceptional research cluster at Rosental Biopark in Basel

PIQUR is embedded in a broad and very experienced network in Basel and internationally. The exceptional location at the Rosental Biopark enables an exchange between different biotech companies and the neighbouring pharma companies. It builds a unique cluster of young, talented and experienced researchers in the field of oncology. «The team of PIQUR has an outstanding track record in science and business. Selected top-experts from industry have been appointed as executives and advisors», says Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic, CEO and co-founder of PIQUR.

PIQUR is a spin-off of the University of Basel, and there is a licence agreement between the two institutions. The research group of Prof. Dr. Matthias P. Wymann, a professor at the Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics at the University of Basel, has shown how knowledge of the molecular processes involved in the development of disease can be used to develop targeted therapies.

Exemplary cooperation between universities and industry

The University is committed to translational research in which the results of basic research are used to develop commercially viable treatments. PIQUR provides an excellent example of cooperation between universities and industry. “The University is proud of PIQUR, not only for the quality of its basic research but also for the potential benefits that the new drugs offer cancer patients,” said Prof. Dr. Edwin Constable, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of Basel.

In PIQUR’s case, scientists from the fields of organic chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, molecular biology and biochemistry collaborated to identify new classes of drugs, which are the foundation on which the biotech start-up is based.

To turn cancer into a manageable disease
The aim of PIQUR’s activities is to turn cancer into a manageable disease. Given the relatively small number of cancer treatments available today, there is thus a tremendous need for new therapeutic approaches. One in every 2 men and one in every 3 women, living in the developed world, will develop cancer at some stage in their lives. PIQUR targets the PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) and mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathways.

PIQUR’s differentiation against its peers is the outstanding industry expertise, the level of innovation with its unique, proprietary fragment and scaffold libraries as well as cellular technology platform and their best-in-class products with novel, dual-acting ‘strong PI3K plus finely-tuned weaker mTOR’ inhibitors that fully address the given challenges, meeting therapeutic, tolerance and galenic needs.


PIQUR is a Swiss biotech start-up incorporated in August 2011 as a spin-off of the Basel University focusing on the discovery and development of innovative anti-cancer drugs based on lipid kinase (PI3K) and mTOR inhibition. PIQUR’s pipeline originates from one of the most promising research areas in oncology. While mTOR is a clinically validated drug target, PI3K inhibition achieved proof of concept status in clinical phase IIb. PIQUR has a secured patent space, has protected a large portion of relevant chemical space.


University of Basle

The city of Basel is home to the oldest university in Switzerland. Founded upon the initiative of local citizens in 1460, the University of Basel is a modern and attractive centre of teaching, learning, and research situated in the heart of the historic old town. It provides committed individuals from all over the world with a strong academic community and an inspiring work environment. It is home to 3’500 staff. Our mission is to accomplish first-class research, teaching, and public service. We rank among the world’s one hundred best universities and boast a top-ten place among German-speaking universities.


Media Contact:

PIQUR Therapeutics AG
IRF Communications
Stefan Mathys, Daniel Piller
Rämistrasse 4
8024 Zürich

Tel +41 43 244 81 49
Mob +41 79 227 98 31


Universität Basel

Matthias Geering
Leiter Kommunikation & Marketing
Petersgraben 35
CH-4003 Basel

Tel +41 61 267 35 75
Mob +41 79 269 70 71