IBRI and Roche Diagnostics Announce Winner of the Inaugural Quantum Leap Award

Scientist looking through a microscope in the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute labs

NERX BioSciences Inc. moves into IBRI labs to accelerate its program of transforming cancer care through innovative research and development of targeted therapies

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), a leading translational research organization, and Roche Diagnostics, part of the world’s largest biotechnology company, are pleased to announce NERX BioSciences Inc. as the winner of the inaugural Quantum Leap Award.

“We’re thrilled to welcome NERX to the IBRI and the 16 Tech Innovation District,” said Alan Palkowitz, PhD, president and CEO of the IBRI. “As an IBRI member, NERX will have access to state-of-the-art capabilities and collaboration that we hope will accelerate their innovative program.”

NERX will receive up to two wet lab biology benches rent free for one calendar year, use of desks in co-working space with conference room access, and participation in the IBRI’s AXIS Mentoring Program, as well as a cash prize of $50,000 to support research.

NERX will become an IBRI member and gain access to shared equipment in the IBRI labs and will have the opportunity to use the IBRI’s Dr. August M. Watanabe Drug Discovery Laboratory; access group pricing for license of drug discovery platforms (e.g., Schrodinger Suite of Tools, CDD Vault), and lab supplies; and partner with the IBRI to collaborate with its scientific capabilities.

“Moving NERX Headquarters to the IBRI will provide us access to specialized equipment and resources, as well as the opportunity for collaborations and networking opportunities with top-notch scientists and entrepreneurs. We believe this partnership will aid in accelerating commercial readiness of our lead program targeting replication protein A and enable continued development of our pipeline,” said Katie Pawelczak, COO of NERX.

NERX’s primary goal is to develop a new generation of anticancer therapeutics that are directed against novel protein targets for the treatment of lung and ovarian cancer. The company developed a first-in-class, innovative cancer therapeutic agent that targets the clinically validated DNA damage response (DDR) pathway. NERX also developed a novel strategy to realize the full therapeutic promise of the DDR, by intervening upstream of the DDR kinases and targeting specific proteins that sense DNA damage. The company’s novel targeted therapeutics are expected to dramatically enhance patient response to therapy and ultimately overall survival.

“Roche started more than 127 years ago and today is a world leader in healthcare research and development,” said Hany Moselhi, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Roche Diagnostics North America. “We are proud to recognize NERX BioSciences as the first winner of the Quantum Leap Award as they get their start developing novel therapies to treat cancer.”

NERX will move in to the IBRI’s incubator space January 2024.


About the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute

The IBRI is a leading translational research institute that advances academic and industry science through collaboration. Our scientists work daily on powerful discoveries to defeat challenging biomedical problems without solutions, like diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and pediatric rare diseases while providing molecular innovation and antibody drug discovery platforms and enabling technologies to translate the research of today into tomorrow’s patient needs. For more information about the IBRI, visit https://www.indianabiosciences.org/.


About Roche Diagnostics

Founded in 1896 in Basel, Switzerland, as one of the first industrial manufacturers of branded medicines, Roche has grown into the world’s largest biotechnology company and the global leader in in-vitro diagnostics. The company pursues scientific excellence to discover and develop medicines and diagnostics for improving and saving the lives of people around the world. We are a pioneer in personalized healthcare and want to further transform how healthcare is delivered to have an even greater impact. To provide the best care for each person we partner with many stakeholders and combine our strengths in Diagnostics and Pharma with data insights from the clinical practice.

In recognizing our endeavor to pursue a long-term perspective in all we do, Roche has been named one of the most sustainable companies in the pharmaceuticals industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the thirteenth consecutive year. This distinction also reflects our efforts to improve access to healthcare together with local partners in every country we work.

Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly-owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.


About NERX BioSciences Inc.

NERX BioSciences Inc. was founded in 2009 by John Turchi, PhD, president and CSO. NERX’s pipeline of SMIs is based on the discoveries from Turchi's lab at the Indiana University School of Medicine. His work in studying DNA damage and repair has dramatically advanced our understanding of genome instability and DNA repair in cancer treatment over the past two decades. NERX has an exclusive license to these and future discoveries from the Turchi lab and focuses on their clinical development and commercialization with the ultimate goal to develop novel therapeutics to enable the effective treatment of highly prevalent and difficult to treat cancers, including lung and ovarian.