SFI’s SSPC pharma research centre partners with Czech start-up Kapaji

12 Aug 2020

Kapaji's founding team. Image: Kapaji

Prague-based Kapaji will become an industry collaborator for SSPC’s pharmaceutical research.

SSPC, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals, has announced plans to expand its research capabilities with the addition of Kapaji as an industry collaborator.

Founded in 2019, Kapaji is a start-up based in Prague, Czech Republic, that offers bespoke services to the pharmaceutical industry.

These services are provided under four general value streams: pharmaceutical development and production support; industrial project management and company processes optimisation; animal pharmacokinetic studies; and related trainings.

Hosted by the Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick, SSPC currently brings together experts in developing innovative technologies to address key challenges facing the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry.

The partnership

John Brennan, business development manager at SSPC, said: “We are delighted to have Kapaji on board as it strengthens SSPC internalisation efforts, extends SSPC’s global reputation and provides for collaboration opportunities with industry and academia in the Czech Republic and across Europe.”

The founders of Kapaji have a combined 30 years’ experience in generic pharmaceuticals and SSPC said that the start-up can offer unique competencies to SSPC and its operations in Ireland. These competencies include generic drug product reverse engineering, pharmaceutical development or routine production troubleshooting, a generic view on particular IP strategies, as well as small molecule portfolio selection.

According to SSPC, such competencies are vital to a wide range of scenarios such as identifying hazardous components in pharmaceutical products, the fine-tuning of pharmaceutical processes, determination of potential patent infringement, and improving the competitive positioning of existing or new products.

Aiming to advance Ireland’s pharma reserach

Kapaji co-founder Dr Jiri Svoboda said: “Joining the prestigious research centre in Ireland is a great honour for us, and we are glad our expertise and experience may contribute to the advances in the country’s pharmaceutical research as well as add value to the pharmaceutical industry.”

Another of Kapaji’s three co-founders, Dr Pavel Calta, has existing ties with SSPC. He has previously worked with SSPC co-director Prof Mike Zaworotko and with SSPC investigator Lidia Tajber, who is an associate professor at Trinity College Dublin.

Founded in 2007, SSPC is working on research aligned to industry needs, with the aim enabling a more predictive design-led approach in developing drug substances, drug products and the processes to manufacture them.

In addition to Kapaji, SSPC works in collaboration with pharma businesses such as MSD, Pfizer, Innopharma, Regeneron and Janssen.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic