"Drugs on Target" - the best of three worlds

The Center for Drug Research, Development and Safety (ZAFES) was founded at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt in 2002 as a “center of excellence” and core of a think-tank to combine the best knowledge of the three worlds “university”, “pharmaceutical industry” and “biotechnology” in order to find innovative drugs in a more rapid process.
Scientist of the university’s fields “chemical and biological sciences” and “human medicine” working closely in this dynamic network are focussing on the three research areas “pain”, “inflammation” and “cancer”. Competencies from pharma and active substance research and the Clinic of the University are joined with pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology partners and thus are able to work efficiently on basic research, development and trial processes within the “center of excellence” ZAFES.
Basis for ZAFES is the combination of university resources and experts as well as a networking infrastructure between work groups and institutes. This process enables research projects that can not be handled efficiently through one single institution. Partnerships with industry and biotechnology companies can be realized more efficiently and successful. ZAFES is open for all researching pharmaceutical companies.
ZAFES is a logical development of activities and co-operations that have been ongoing within the Frankfurt University as well as with industrial partners. It stands for one of three pillars of the think-tank within the Rhein-Main area regarding innovative drugs. The two remaining pillars are the “ Innovationcenter for Biotechnology Frankfurt ” (FIZ) and the “Rhein-Main Center for Clinical studies”, which is integrated in ZAFES.



The innovative concept of ZAFES will enforce Frankfurt’s scientific site and will create one of the best European pharmaceutical research networks in the Rhein-Main area on a mid- and long-term basis. Even in its early stages, ZAFES has no need to fear competing research networks due to its singular position in Germany. For one thing, nearly the entire value chain for the development of a drug is represented, beginning with the basic research via pharmaceutical technology to clinical development. Secondly, leading researching pharma and biotechnology companies have settled in the region.



ZAFES is headed by the four ZAFES Board Members as well as the Managing Director. Beginning 2005, 29 university professors represented the members of ZAFES along with approx. 400 scientists on the various projects. 28 project coordinators are in charge of the rapid development of projects connecting the various fields. ZAFES offers organisational support regarding project management as well as external networks and funding.