IMBA conducts cutting-edge basic research in various fields of molecular biology and biomedicine. In addition to scientific publications, we aim to translate our research results and proprietary technologies into tools to facilitate new discoveries and products to address currently unmet medical needs and improve human health.  

IMBA is open for individual forms of technology transfer and eager to continuously expand our interactions with industrial partners. Since its foundation, IMBA has contributed to the incorporation of Austrian start-up companies, concluded numerous licensing agreements and entered into several research partnerships with biotech and pharma companies. A selection of most recent technology transfer activities can be found below.

The technologies and research projects that are currently available for licensing and/or partnering with industry or investors are listed here. For any further questions with respect to these partnering opportunities, please contact us directly.

Technologies & Projects available



Gene knockouts (KO) in cells or animals have made substantial contributions to understanding molecular biology. For essential or developmentally active genes, a conditional knockout (cKO) strategy is often required to elucidate their functions. To prevent potential developmental or other unwanted physiological effects, the expression level of such targeted genes needs to be unaffected. This remains a major, unresolved challenge. “SCONs” (Short COnditional INtrons) were developed to overcome these limitations and are based on genomic integration of the SCON within an exon. SCONs do not interfere with natural gene function or expression level and do not display hypomorphic effects. Upon transcription, an additional splicing event takes place which removes the inserted SCON, reconstituting the original mRNA sequence. The conditional knock out is induced by a recombinase-based genomic event which partially removes the SCON and destroys its function.  IMBA is actively seeking licensing partners with business interests in the field of animal model generation or novel CRISPR applications, to further exploit applications for the SCON technology.


View full proposal (PDF)
Link to research group
Link to scientific publication


Generating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with cellular reprogramming has become a broadly used experimental tool. Beyond its use in basic and biomedical research and disease modelling, iPSC reprogramming is employed in a wide range of medical applications. Increased efforts in the development of clinical applications for iPSCs in the field of regenerative medicine and cell therapy in particular have led to a high demand for reliable and efficient iPSC methodologies. IMBA scientists have developed a new method that has the potential to increase the efficiency of iPSC reprogramming by a factor of 100+.  IMBA is looking for technology partners in the field of stem cell research or manufacturing to further develop the method to create a new generation of iPSC reprogramming kits and/or use the technology for iPSC contract manufacturing.

Link to Research Group
Link to IMBA Stem Cell Facility
Link to Scientific Publication

© Adobe Stock


CRISPR/Cas9 provides an easy, efficient and affordable tool for site-specific manipulation of genomes. Despite its promising characteristics, the technology needs further improvement, e.g. with regard to efficiency, regulation and reduction of off-target effects. To address these challenges, IMBA and Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities GmbH (VBCF) scientists have developed CRISPR switch (i.e. optimised sgRNA expression cassettes) to facilitate (i) tight ON and OFF switches of sgRNA expression, (ii) OFF switches without deletion of the guiding sequence for easy sgRNA target identification, (iii) consecutive sgRNA expression for studying aspects such as synthetic lethality, temporal order of lesions in tumour progression, etc. Importantly, CRISPR switch is compatible with variations of CRISPR such as CRISPR-a, CRISPR-i and others.  IMBA is looking for licensing partners with business interests and R&D programs in the field of CRISPR/Cas9, i.e. screening, mutation analysis, safer genome editing, multiplexing and/or somatic gene therapy. 

View full proposal (PDF)
Link to Research Group
Link to Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities (VBCF)
Link to Scientific Publication


Human organoid tumour models have been generated by introducing oncogenic mutations during cerebral organoid formation via transposon- and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis. Based on clinically relevant mutations, the technology has been applied to generate central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumour (CNS-PNET)-like and glioblastoma (GBM)-like disease models. In contrast to patient-derived tumour models (xenografts, tumour cell lines), this novel platform technology allows defined genetic models to be created that contain tumorous and healthy tissue in the same organoid derived from the same human stem cell origin. Such disease models can be cultured over months and are suitable for various applications in the field of human disease modelling, drug discovery and therapy development. IMBA is looking for licensing partners with business interests in the field of organoid technologies, preclinical testing or brain cancer therapies to exploit the proprietary disease models and/or to expand the technology platform further.

View full proposal (PDF)
Link to Research Group
Link to Scientific Publication
Link to Video Abstract

Some of our partnering opportunities are commercialised in cooperation with Ascenion, a German technology transfer organisation exclusively dedicated to life sciences.

If you are interested in a research collaboration or licensing agreement with IMBA or an investment into an IMBA spin-off company, please contact us. If you are interested but haven't found a matching project, send us an e-mail and we will keep you updated on any new partnering opportunities!

List of technology transfer activities:

Angios biotech

Development of novel approaches to vascular therapy based on human vascular organoids
Spin-Off and Licensing Agreement
Link to scientific publication (Human blood vessel organoids as a model of diabetic vasculopathy)


Development of new drugs for the treatment of cardiac disease based on human cardiac organoids.
Spin-Off, Licensing and Collaboration Agreement
Link to scientific publication (Cardioids reveal self-organizing principles of human cardiogenesis)

Quantro Therapeutics

Discover and development of novel therapeutics to block oncogenic transcription factors based on time-resolved RNA sequencing and transcriptomics.
Spin-Off and Licensing Agreement
Link to scientific publication (Thiol-linked alkylation of RNA to assess expression dynamics)

a:head bio AG

Development of new drugs for the treatment of brain disorders based on human cerebral organoids.
Spin-Off, Licensing and Collaboration Agreement
Link to scientific publication (cerebral organoids model human brain development and microcephaly)
Link to scientific publication (fused cerebral organoids model interactions between brain regions)


Commercialisation of SLAMSEQ - a high-sensitivity method for time-resolved measurement of newly synthesized and existing RNA in cultured cells (marketed since October 2017).
Licensing Agreement
Link to Scientific Publication (Thiol-linked alkylation of RNA to assess expression dynamics)

STEMCELL Technologies

Commercialisation of a research reagent kit for establishment and maturation of human cerebral organoids based on IMBA’s proprietary cell culture protocol (marketed since July 2017).
Licensing Agreement
Link to Scientific Publication (Cerebral organoids model human brain development and microcephaly)


J. Matthew Watson

Head of Technology Transfer Office