The ACORN Consortium

The Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM) is a non-profit private research institute affiliated with the University of Lisbon Medical School and located in the campus of the Santa Maria University Hospital. iMM has established itself as a leading national biomedical institute fostering the highest quality basic, clinical and translational biomedical research.

The University of Cambridge (UCAM) is one of the most renowned Research/ Higher Education Institutes and is frequently ranked amongst the top 5 in international academic rankings such as ARWU and Shanghai Ranking. It has a long-standing history of academic and scientific excellence backed up with rich culture, learning, research and creativity. The Chemistry Department is consistently ranked in the top three Chemistry Departments worldwide.

Percuros B.V. (PERC), a Dutch biotech-chemistry company, was founded by Alan Chan in 2006 based on blood biomarkers. A KGI spin-off, Zuyder Inc., was subsequently incorporated into Percuros. The Company graduated towards developing biomarker assays for immunotherapy and oncology and to this day it specialises in designing both in vitro and in vivo assays for clients.

Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) is a long-established university medical centre focusing on top clinical and specialized care. This is backed up by top tier research groups including imaging and tumour immunology for which it has world renowned status. It has four large public interest missions: research, education, public health, and valorisation of scientific research via technology transfer and industrial partnerships.

Pilotality (PILO), a Dutch biotech company, was founded in 2010 by Katja Bierau, a PhD scientist in the field of immunology, virology and oncology. Dr Bierau is an expert in the development and commercialisation of diagnostic kits for personalised medicine and she has in-house expertise for developing new biomarker assays where a proprietary kinase inhibitor screening facility.

Veronica de Marchis (VDM) is a SME specialising in developing strategies and solutions for CORMs. The available knowledge will be transferred from VDM to iMM during the on-site training so that the quickest route to the clinic may be achieved for these compounds. The expertise of Dr Veronica de Marchis will provide iMM with knowledge of how to overcome regulatory hurdles during development of CORMs. These compounds will need to pass toxicology tests and show on-target effects.

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Carlos Romão – Professor at ITQB, Pioneer in the development of CO-releasing molecules;
  • Jeff Wager – CEO of Proterris Inc, CEO of the leading company exploring CO as a therapeutic agent;
  • Augustine Choi – Dean at Weil Cornell Medicine, Pioneer in defining the roles of CO;
  • Walter Blatter – Pioneer in targeted antibody therapeutics and former CSO of Alfama, a CO-based company;
  • Nikolaus Krall – CEO of Allcyte.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 807281