Axxam S.p.A. is a privately owned innovative Partner Research Organization (iPRO) and discovery company with a team of 80 highly skilled employees, most of them experienced scientists, located at Openzone Science Park, Bresso (Milan, Italy), with chemistry laboratories located  in Naples (Italy) and a business development office located in the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) in Cambridge, Mass. Since its inception in 2001, as a spin-out from the Bayer Group, Axxam has built up an integrated discovery platform called “Lead Engine”, which consists of “assay development”, “high throughput screening”, “hit follow-up” and “medicinal chemistry” modules. This streamlined industrial platform is used for the discovery of novel bioactive compounds and as such, is at the basis of discovery services provided by Axxam‘s fully dedicated services unit. The Company has developed a multi-year proven track record as a third party research and discovery services provider for the life science industry. Axxam has collaborate with more than 50 international partners, ranging from small biotechs to big pharma and agrochemical companies, and a growing network of research institutions. In the last few years, Axxam has expanded its business model, by establishing its own suite of internal discovery programmes against attractive biomedical targets, which are then out-licensed at the lead candidate stage to a collaborative/licensing partner.



Discovery platform
Axxam’s discovery platform refers to a fully integrated drug discovery process ranging from target identification to generation of “qualified hits”. Axxam has proven expertise in assay development for the most relevant target classes of the life sciences industry, with specific focus on GPCRs, ion channels, but also transporters, ion exchangers, tyrosine kinase and cytokine receptors, nuclear hormone receptors, proteases, kinases and transferases. The Company has set up an industrialised process for assay development which has produced high throughput screening assays for over 250 key drug targets. Recently, Axxam also successfully implemented the innovative technologies of gene editing nucleases and optogenetics tools, for the development of smarter “next generation” cellular assays. Axxam operates with highly customised state-of-the-art high throughput screening stations designed to run biochemical and cell-based assays. The screening stations are able to generate more than 50,000 test points per day. Axxam has implemented a comprehensive “hit follow-up” platform that maximises the results from a primary screening campaign. Activities include: hit confirmation; orthogonal assay testing, determination of relative potencies through dose-response assays, selectivity and proof of concept assays. The screening campaigns can be conducted using either customer's library provided or Axxam's compound collection AXXDIV2.0, a new 240,000 compounds library characterized by a high level of diversity and novelty. Axxam has also an electrophysiology unit equipped with both manual and automated patch-clamp devices.