Axxam is the proud recipient of a significant number of grants and awards from agencies at the local, national and international levels. These grants and awards contribute to our continuing investment in research and development for drug discovery and other life sciences applications, thus recognizing our contribution to technological innovation and new products development.


Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD) – Grand Solutions 2018
Title: HB-086 – HB-086 (hMeteorin), an innovative biopharmaceutical development candidate for neuropathic pain
Start: September 2018

European Commission – Horizon 2020-Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI2):
Title: ReSolute – Research empowerment on solute carriers
Start: July 2018

Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR) – PON 2014-2020
Title: PerMedNet – Personalized Medicine for Innovative Strategies in Neuropsychiatric and vascular diseases
Start: May 2018

European Commission – Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR) – Horizon 2020- Eurostars 2
Title: Chem2Bio – A novel structure based discovery platform to translate orphan GPCR into new drug targets
Start: November 2017

Ministry of Economic Development – FCS – Research & Development Big Projects – PON
Title: Q-RARE – Integrated technological platform for the identification and development of new drugs for the treatment of rare diseases or high dissatisfied need of care
Start: November 2017

European Commission – Horizon 2020-Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI2)
Title: NGN-PET – Modelling Neuron-Glia Networks into a drug discovery platform for Pain Efficacious Treatments
Start: April 2017

Lombardy Region – POR FESR 2014-2020
Title: iPSLight – New iPSC biotechnological systems for pharmaceutical development in the field of neurodegenerative diseases
Start: February 2017

Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) – EuroTransBio
Title: NeurOptics – Development of iPSCs derived Opto-neurons suitable for high-throughput screening (HTS)
Start: January 2017

Lombardy Region – POR FESR 2014-2020
Title: COGNIPLANT – New botanical products for the prevention of cognitive deficits in the adult age and aging phase
Start: December 2016

European Commission – Horizon 2020-Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI2)
Title: PHAGO – Inflammation and AD: modulating microglia function – focussing on TREM2 and CD33
Start: November 2016




COGNIPLANT - New botanical products for the prevention of cognitive deficits in the adult age and aging phase

Cognitive decline is a widespread problem both in healthy elderly and those suffering from diseases. Some recent studies have shown that polyphenols and natural terpenes have neuroprotectional activities. The project intends to verify this aspect, evaluating between the standardized extract of Curcuma long L. (curcuma), of Centella asiatica L. or their combination the most suitable candidate. The Phytosome® technology will allow to convey a greater concentration of active principle on the central nervous system (CNS) and to express its neuroprotection function in the brain areas involved. In vitro tests conducted through a platform consisting of recombinant cell lines for molecular targets belonging to different classes as well as in vivo tests in the rat and subsequently on the healthy volunteer will allow the validation of the biological effect.
The Consortium is represented by three Italian industrial companies located in Lombardy Region (Indena S.p.A., Axxam S.p.A., GricarChemical s.r.l.) and the University of Milan – DiSFeB. The collaboration between the academic world and the industry will allow to reach new products with specific scientifically and industrially validated action, applicable in the nutraceutical sector, consequently bringing competitiveness to the sector, to the partners, to the territory and benefits in terms of wellbeing and containment of public costs for the treatment of cognitive decline in the elderly.


Il declino cognitivo rappresenta un problema largamente diffuso sia in soggetti sani che affetti da patologie. Alcuni recenti studi hanno evidenziato che polifenoli e terpeni naturali hanno attività neuroprotettrici. Il progetto intende verificare questo aspetto, valutando tra l’estratto standardizzato di Curcuma long L. (curcuma), di Centella asiatica L. o loro combinazione il candidato più idoneo. La tecnologia Phytosome® permetterà di veicolare una maggior concentrazione di principio attivo sul SNC ed esplicarvi la propria funzione neuroprotettrice nelle aree cerebrali interessate. Prove in vitro condotte attraverso una piattaforma costituita da linee cellulari ricombinanti per target molecolari appartenenti a differenti classi nonché prove in vivo nel ratto e successivamente sul volontario sano consentiranno la verifica dell’effetto biologico.
Il progetto vede in prima linea un partenariato composto da tre imprese industriali lombarde (Indena S.p.A., Axxam S.p.A., GricarChemical s.r.l.) e dall’Università di Milano – DiSFeB. La collaborazione tra il mondo accademico e l’impresa permetterà di pervenire a nuovi prodotti ad azione specifica scientificamente ed industrialmente validati, applicabili nel settore nutraceutico, portando conseguentemente competitività al settore, ai partner, al territorio e benefici sotto il profilo del benessere della persona e del contenimento dei costi pubblici per la cura del declino cognitivo nel soggetto anziano.

FARMIDIAB - Metabolic diseases and their complications with high unmet medical need: research and development of novel pharmacological approaches and innovative targets

This project, in collaboration with Dompé Farmaceutici S.p.A. and Fondazione Telethon, aims to offer the scientific community and patients new therapeutic tools for the treatment of metabolic diseases still lacking efficient treatments and improvements to the health and welfare of the population. Within this project, the activities carried will focus on the selection and development of new pharmacological agents that act on under-investigated molecular targets with innovative modes of action for the treatment of metabolic diseases; such as: Type 1 diabetes and its complications (i.e. diabetic nephropathy). Novel molecular mechanisms will be studied to extend the knowledge of the metabolic pathways responsible of the development and progression of the pathologies studied, through the setting of technological platforms that allow high performance and small molecule high throughput screens with the objective of accelerating the identification and development of new drugs.
The ambitious objectives of the program include:

  • the completion of toxicology studies of allosteric modulators of CXCR1 and CXCR2, which are the receptors of Interleukin 8 (IL-8) chemokine, in the treatment of metabolic pathologies like diabetes: an innovative approach to the field;
  • the execution of preclinical studies aimed to evaluate the efficacy of the CXCR1 and CXCR2 inhibitors in models of diabetic nephropathy, one of the most serious complications of diabetes that may lead to kidney failure;
  • the setting up of sophisticated in-vitro cell based assays, developed through the use of kidney derived cell lines able to express either endogenously or recombinantly the molecular targets of interest, with the objective of creating a platform based on High Content and High Throughput Screening systems suited for the identification, characterization and development of new compounds able to correct the above mentioned phenotypes;
  • the identification of active molecules against new molecular targets and the start of medicinal chemistry programs, focused on the synthesis and optimization of new molecules showing potency and selectivity properties enabling their progression to later phases in the development of potential drugs.

Since the identification of new drugs for a specific disease is a very complex process with a high rate of failure, it’s fundamental to explore new molecular targets and new biological mechanisms that lead to the design of innovative molecules. Axxam and Tigem will focused their studies on the ion channel TRPLML1, involved in autophagy processes related to diabetic nephropathy, with the scope of identifying molecules that modulate the channel itself and are able to potentiate the autophagy processes involved. To increase the likelihood of success, Dompé will make available to the other partners its own platform and informatics tools in computational chemistry in order to design new compound libraries of agonists of the TRPML1 channel.
A close collaboration between the highly experienced partners and the integration of the different competences and technologies will facilitate the successful execution of this ambitious program.

Overall cost of the project: € 5.000.000,00 of which € 1.600.000,00 to Axxam S.p.a.
Pure grant: € 2.240.891,64 of which € 800.000,00 to Axxam S.p.a.
Starting date: 01/01/2017
Ending date: 31/12/2018


FARMIDIAB – Patologie metaboliche ad elevato e insoddisfatto bisogno di cura e loro complicanze: ricerca e sviluppo di nuovi approcci farmacologici e target innovativi

In collaborazione con Dompé Farmaceutici S.p.A. e Fondazione Telethon, il progetto si propone di offrire alla comunità scientifica e ai pazienti nuovi strumenti terapeutici per il trattamento di patologie metaboliche, per cui ancora mancano cure efficaci, per il miglioramento della salute e del benessere della popolazione. Nell’ambito di questo progetto si condurranno attività finalizzate alla selezione e sviluppo di nuovi agenti farmacologici, che agiscano su bersagli molecolari finora non investigati e con meccanismo d’azione innovativo, per il trattamento di patologie metaboliche quali il diabete di Tipo 1 e le sue complicanze, come la nefropatia diabetica. Nuovi meccanismi molecolari verranno infatti studiati, per approfondire la conoscenza delle vie metaboliche responsabili dell’insorgenza e progressione delle patologie oggetto di studio, attraverso la messa a punto di piattaforme tecnologiche, che consentono di effettuare screening di molecole ad alta performance e processività, con l’obiettivo di accelerare quanto possibile l’identificazione e lo sviluppo di nuovi farmaci.
Gli ambiziosi obiettivi del programma includono:

  • il completamento degli studi tossicologici regolatori del profilo di modulatori allosterici d CXCR1 e CXCR2, recettori della chemochina Interleuchina 8 (IL-8), nel trattamento di patologie metaboliche quali il diabete, una novità assoluta nel campo;
  • la conduzione di studi preclinici finalizzati alla prova di concetto di valutazione dell’efficacia di inibitori di CXCR1 e CXCR2 in modelli di nefropatia diabetica, una delle più serie complicanze del diabete che può portare all’insufficienza renale anche grave;
  • la messa a punto di sofisticati saggi cellulari in vitro, sviluppati mediante utilizzo di linee cellulari di derivazione renale, in grado di esprimere per via endogena o ricombinante i bersagli molecolari di interesse, con l’obiettivo di creare una piattaforma basata su sistemi di High Content Screening (HCS) e High Throughput Screening (HTS) adatta per l’identificazione, la caratterizzazione e lo sviluppo di nuovi composti in grado di correggere i suddetti fenotipi;
  • l’identificazione di molecole attive verso i nuovi bersagli molecolari e l’avvio di un programma di chimica medicinale, orientato alla sintesi ed ottimizzazione di nuove molecole, che mostrino caratteristiche di potenza e selettività adeguate ad entrare nelle successive fasi di sviluppo di potenziali farmaci.

Poiché l’identificazione di nuovi farmaci per una specifica patologia è un processo molto complesso e ad alto rischio di fallimento, risulta di fondamentale importanza esplorare nuovi bersagli molecolari e, di conseguenza, nuovi meccanismi biologici che orientino il disegno di molecole innovative. In particolare, Axxam e Tigem concentreranno i loro studi sul canale ionico TRPLML1, coinvolto nei processi di autofagia correlati alla nefropatia diabetica, con la finalità di identificare molecole che modulino il canale stesso, e siano quindi in grado di potenziare il processo autofagico compromesso. Per aumentare la probabilità di successo del programma, Dompé metterà a disposizione degli altri partecipanti le proprie competenze e gli strumenti informatici di chimica computazionale per il disegno razionale di librerie di nuove molecole chimiche agoniste del canale TRPML1.
Solo tramite l’interazione tra i tre diversi partner altamente qualificati e la complementazione delle diverse competenze e tecnologie a disposizione, consentirà di condurre con successo l’ambizioso programma.

Costi totali di progetto: € 5.000.000,00 di cui Axxam S.p.a. € 1.600.000,00
Contributo a fondo perduto: € 2.240.891,64 di cui Axxam S.p.a. € 800.000,00
Data inizio: 01/01/2017
Data fine: 31/12/2018



Ministry of Economic Development – FCS H2020 PON
Title: FARMIDIAB – Metabolic disorders with high and dissatisfied need of care and their complications: Research and development of new pharmacological approaches and innovative targets
Start: January 2017 – December 2018

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF)
Title: Exploratory Optimization of New CX3CR1 modulators for the treatment of AD
Start: September 2017- August 2018

Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) – EuroTransBio
Title: OPTEL – A novel optogenetic electrophysiology platform for ion channel and  transporter screening
Term: December 2015 – November 2017

Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR) – National Technological Cluster Life Sciences (ALISEI)
Title: Cutting-edge technologies to increase safety and efficacy of drugs and vaccines (MEDINTECH)
Term: January 2014 – December 2016

European Commission – Seventh Framework Program
Title: Satiety Innovation (SATIN –
Term: January 2012 –  December 2016
SATIN poster available on demand

EUREKA – Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR), Eurostars Programme –  X Call
Title: Novel therapeutic approaches to combat obesity pandemic and its sequel (Hypo greedy)
Term: September 2013 – August 2016

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF)
Title: Optimization of P2X7 antagonists for AD treatment
Term: December 2015 – July 2016

European Commission – Seventh Framework Program
Title: From sea-bed to test-bed: harvesting the potential of marine biodiversity for industrial biotechnology (SeaBioTech)
Term: August 2012 – July 2016

EUREKA – Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR), Eurostars Programme – VIII Call
Title: Novel therapeutic approaches for resolution of inflammation (ChemExit)
Term: December 2012 – May 2016

Campania Region – POR – FESR
Title: TIMING – Innovative Therapies of chronic inflammatory, metabolic, neoplastic and geriatric diseases
Term: August 2013 – December 2015

Campania Region – POR – FESR
Title: OCKey – Oncology and Cardiology Key Targets
Term: August 2013 – December 2015

Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR) – PON Program
Title: An integrated technological platform for the development of new drugs for rare diseases (PON1_00862)
Term: July 2011 – December 2015

Lombardy Region and Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR)
Title: OMICS (Optical Method for Ion Channel Screening)
Term: December 2011 – March 2015

EUREKA – Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR), Eurostars Programme – V Call
Title: Innovative GLP-1R modulators for Type-2 Diabetes treatment (InsuSecret)
Term: July 2011 – December 2014

Ministry of Economic Development – EuroTransBio
Title: NeuroSafe – Neurotoxicity Safety Platform
Term: November 2012 – October 2014

Lombardy Region – FRIM – FESR 2011
Title: Cardiac Safety Panel (CaSP)
Term: February 2013 – July 2014

Lombardy Region – FRIM 2011
Title: Systems for Quality Control and automated management of chemical libraries for HTS
Term: February 2013 – July 2013

Fast Forward LLC and MERCK KGaA
Title: Chloride Channel blockers discovery program for inflammatory microglia suppression (CLIC1)
Term: January 2012 – December 2012

Lombardy Region – ATP 2009
Title: Identification of GOAT inhibitors (SLIMGOAT)
Term: June 2010 – December 2012

Fast Forward & MERCK KGaA
Title: Small Molecule NCX1 blockers for axonal survival in Multiple Sclerosis
Term: May 2011 – October 2012

Fast Forward LLC and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
Title: Discovery research of innovative immunosuppressant for prevention of type 1 diabetes
Term: June 2011 – July 2012

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF)
Title: Small Molecule P2X7 Antagonists for AD treatment
Term: May 2011 – April 2012

Lombardy Region – Proceeded Innovation and Services Organization
Title: Frozen cells in HTS (Forzen4Array)
Term: November 2010 – April 2012

EUREKA – Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR), Eurostars Programme – III Call
Title: Identification of ICRAC antagonists (ICRAC)
Term: June 2010 – May 2012

European Commission – Seventh Framework Program
Title: Neuron – glia interactions in health and disease (NGIDD)
Term: April 2008 – March 2012

European Commission – Sixth Framework Program
Title: Production of innovative biomedical drugs (CONCO)
Term: February 2007 – January 2012

Lombardy Region – GrantMetadistretti 2008
Title: From the molecular target to therapy: a drug discovery integrated process for innovative pain treatments (NaVs for Pain)
Term: November 2008 – November 2011

Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR) and Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) Law 401/90 – Bilateral projects
Title: Bioactive compounds for the valorization and promotion of traditional food
Term: January 2010 – December 2010

Fast Forward LLC and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) – Sponsored Research Agreement
Title: Identification of Kv1.3 blockers for treatment of Type1 diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis
Term: July 2009 – December 2010

European Commission – Sixth Framework Program
Title: Development of clinical diagnostic tools in atherosclerosis (SOUTH)
Term: October 2006 – March 2010

Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR) and Region of Lombardy Law 593/2000 art.12
Title: Identification and characterization of GPCRs (G protein – coupled receptors) inhibitors
Term: March 2006 – December 2009

European Commission – Sixth Framework Program
Title: Targeting Cell Migration In Chronic Inflammation (MAIN)
Term: September 2007 – December 2008

Lombardy Region – Metadistretti 2005
Title: Identification and characterization of chemokine receptors
Term: July 2006 – December 2008

Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR) and Sardinia Region – Law 593/2000 art.13 (Lab. 5)
Title: Development of methodologies for the modeling and the study of biodrugs
Term: January 2006 – December 2008

Italian Ministry of Productive Activities (MAP) – Law 1982/46 – Lombardy FIT
Title: Novel targets identification
Term: September 2004 – August 2008

Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR) – Law 593/2000 art.10
Title: Drug discovery technologies
Term: September 2003 – August 2007

Lombardy Region – Metadistretti 2003
Title: Application of mouse embryonic stem cells in HTS
Term: January 2005 – July 2007