Interdepartmental Research Center
for the Innovation of Health Products

Biopharmanet-Tec is subdivided in 5 Operational Units:

  1. Drug Discovery
  2. Drug Delivery and Process Technology
  3. Pharmacology
  4. Surgery and Experimental Medicine
  5. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Each Operational Unit is constituted by scientists and technicians belonging to tenured personnel at the University of Parma, along with research fellows in different areas. OUs are coordinated by a responsible who serves as:

  • Coordinator of the OUs
  • Project manager
  • Staff management

Each Operational Unit possesses specific competences and offers a set of different services:


This OU is active in the field of design, synthesis, structural optimization and characterization through several analytical methods of molecules endowed with biological activity and/or chemical tools for the understanding of biochemical pathways. Main skills of the unit are related to pharmaceutical chemistry, and can be subdivided in: computational methods for medicinal chemistry (Computer Aided Drug Design, in silico toxicological evaluation), synthesis (synthetic strategies, set up of synthesis for novel chemical entities, structural diversification, ADME properties optimization, batch production for animal studies), chemical analysis (H and C-NMR, HPLC, LC-MS, HRMS characterization, impurity identification and characterization, chemical physical properties analysis) and bioanalytical analysis (set up of analytical methods to identify chemical entities in biological fluids, in vitro metabolism analysis, PK assessment, metabolomic and lipidomic analysis in clinical and pre-clinical samples).


This OU applies drug delivery concepts to industrial research and competitive development. Main aims are the studies of novel formulation, industrial development and production of active principles. Main competences of this Unit are represented by: pre-formulation and formulation of pharmaceutical ingredients for oral, transdermal, ocular, nasal and pulmonary application, along with their in vitro evaluation.


This OU deal with cellular pharmacology and experimental toxicology and pharmacology. This laboratory has competences related to the study of the cellular process involved in atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases. Most relevant projects cover the understanding of the mechanism regulating lipidic metabolism and their modulation, in particular regarding HDL functionality and cholesterol transportation. These studies are carried out both in vitro and in vivo. Other competences regard the pharmacological and toxicological investigation of molecules to treat inflammation, with particular attention to inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) and cancer. Along with the availability of experimental models in vivo, set up of in vitro models to understand the mechanism of action of novel molecules and their PK characteristics can be carried out in several tissues, cellular cultures and organoids.


This OU works in the field of translational research for lung cancer and mesothelioma. The development of novel therapies is crucial as these cancers are often diagnosed late and are resistant to standard chemotherapy. This unit, in collaboration with national and international groups, is focused on the study of novel molecular targets in vitro models of lung and mesothelioma. Being drug-resistance one of the main issues related to the treatment of these diseases, the unit is involved in the analysis of gene mutations and in the response to different classes of drugs, in order to set up strategies to overcome and/or prevent resistance issues.


Competences of this Unit are: i) functional genomic and its application in pharmaceutical/toxicological areas; ii) planning and realization of prototypes of recombinant peptide vaccines and their preclinical validation in animal models of amyloid (i.e. AD) and infective (i.e. papilloma virus) pathologies; iii) expression, purification and characterization of target proteins for therapeutic intervention; iv) conjugation of proteins with polyethylene glycol and fluorescent probes; v) encapsulation of proteins in biodegradable matrix; vi) evaluation of formulation stability through spectroscopic methods; vii) proteomics of biological fluids and tissues and viii) development of blood surrogates based on modified hemoglobin. More in particular, this OU deals with 1) elaboration, consulting and exploitation of genomic data-bank; 2) transcriptomic analysis applied to probiotic microorganisms and human diseases of relevant clinical interest; 3) exploitation of useful microorganisms such as gram-positives approved for human uses (i.e. Lactococcus species); 4) development of optimized strategies for the medium-scale production of recombinant proteins to be used as vaccines, or for the production of antibodies for diagnosis, or proteins (lectines) endowed with antiviral properties, to be used as topic antimicrobials, or therapeutical proteins; v) determination of protein stability and catalytic activity of specific enzymes; 6) preparation of conjugated proteins endowed with reduced immunogenicity and high bioavailability; 7) determination of the hemoglobin binding curves; 8) analysis through 2d-PAGE and LC/MS of biological fluids and tissues for proteomics discovery, differential proteomics, and functional proteomics with identification of separated proteins.