Press Release


Successful Spin-Off of Helmholtz Zentrum München

The latest spin-off of Helmholtz Zentrum München is called BigChem GmbH and offers Big Data solutions for drug development. The Start-up company was founded to commercialize validated IT products and services developed at the Helmholtz Zentrum München.

The central product is a web-based platform OCHEM (Online CHEmical database and Modelling environment). It allows the extraction of information about chemical and pharmacological properties of molecules from large datasets with exceptional precision and speed. The platform has been validated and developed in a number of high-profile partnerships with global biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutes. The research was supported by the Helmholtz Association and European and national projects, including the BMBF GO-Bio award.

„Our work during the last years has not only led to influential scientific publications, but has also extended our software and database. This is now able to seamlessly handle millions of compounds and operates with data matrices containing billions of data entries,” explains Dr. Igor Tetko, lead scientist of the project and CEO of BigChem GmbH. Main applications include drug discovery and optimization projects and the identification of the mode of action of new drug candidates.

„The spin-off BigChem GmbH is yet another demonstration for the excellent prerequisites at Helmholtz Zentrum München with regards to transfer of innovative research into application”, said Dr. Annette Janz, head of the department Innovation Management. „We wish Igor Tetko and the promising project BigChem every success for the future!“ Several companies and chemical authorities have already expressed their interest in working with BigChem.

The commercial rights to the technology have been transferred from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and one of its spin-offs to BigChem GmbH. In the context of the transaction, Ascenion GmbH, technology transfer partner of the Helmholtz Zentrum München, has acquired shares in the new company.

Further information

You can find the Website of BigChem GmbH here:

The Helmholtz Zentrum München, the German Research Center for Environmental Health, pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches to the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes and lung disease. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München has about 2,300 staff members and is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich. It is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 37,000 staff members. The Helmholtz Zentrum München is a partner in the German Center for Diabetes Research.

Scientific contact at Helmholtz Zentrum München
Dr. Igor Tetko, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Institute of Structural Biology, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg – Phone: +49 89 3187 3575 -