July 29 | 2010


Vienna, July 2010 – Helmut H. Buschmann, a leading medicinal chemistry expert joins Savira pharmaceuticals, an Austrian biotech company focusing on the development of novel anti-influenza drugs.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Helmut Buschmann in our team”, said Oliver Szolar, CEO of Savira. “Helmut will immensely contribute to Savira’s development program with his vast experience and world class medicinal chemistry expertise”.

Dr. Helmut H. Buschmann is a senior management executive with 19 years of international experience in drug discovery research and drug development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry with particular strengths in identifying, evaluating, and integrating pre-clinical projects and transfer to clinical development. Helmut Buschmann has a strong commitment to the commercial aspects and an excellent understanding of the regulatory and intellectual property impact of the R&D process. He provides strong expertise in managing the interfaces between chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, and clinics with the goal to create innovative first-in-class new chemical entities (NCEs). Under his guidance, more than 15 NCEs entered clinical development with some of them reaching clinical phase III and the market (e.g. Tapentadol marketed as Nucynta® in the U.S. and as Palexia® in Europe).

Helmut Buschmann spent 10 years with Grünenthal (Aachen) before joining Laboratorios Dr. Esteve in Barcelona as research director for 7 years. In 2009, he joined Pharma Consulting Aachen as independent consultant for diverse companies. Helmut Buschmann led or co-authored more than 90 publications in the field, edited and authored three books, and is listed as inventor in more than 180 patent applications. Moreover, he is member of several scientific advisory boards of public research institutions in Europe and gives lectures at the universities of Aachen and Rostock.

“Savira’s development program fascinated me from the first moment. The world class science, a strong and committed team, the top league of collaborating partners and supporting board members, and the opportunity to contribute to the development of an antiviral therapy to a disease that still is a major threat to the world’s health, made this decision easy to take”, commented Helmut Buschmann on his appointment as CSO of Savira pharmaceuticals.

Savira pharmaceuticals: Novel therapeutics based on the inhibition of the influenza polymerase

The PB2 cap-binding and PA endonuclease active sites, two crucial domains in the trimeric viral RNA-dependent polymerase, are among the most promising targets for novel anti-influenza drugs. Due to the conserved nature of these domains, it can be expected that new inhibitors will be less prone to the evolution of resistant virus strains. Detailed knowledge of the target structures recently identified by Stephen Cusack and co-workers at the EMBL, Grenoble, will allow Savira to rationally design selective inhibitors of the influenza virus polymerase. Through a series of screens, Savira already successfully extracted first hits that have proven to be active in cellular antiviral assays.

Klick to download PDF: 20100715 Savira-Press release.pdf