New Medicine Development in Romania: From Synthesis to Pre-clinical Evaluation


Having a tradition dating back to 1929, The National Institute for Chemical – Pharmaceutical Research and Development (ICCF Bucharest) is Romania’s outstanding scientific organization and one of the few existing in Europe. The institute is capable of developing a medicine from the synthesis of its active substances to its pre-clinical studies. It had an uninterrupted activity since 1949, being the unique supplier of the Romanian pharmaceutical industry.

After the political changes in Romania in 1989, the institute continued its activity keeping its core competence in the entire development of pharmaceutical products or similars, starting from the synthesis of the active pharmacological substance and ending with the required documentation for clinical studies or market distribution. Dr. Irina Lupescu, Scientific Director of ICCF, explains: ‘Our main competitive advantage is that we have all the infrastructure needed to develop a new medicine. We have preparative departments for: synthesis, bio-synthesis, plant extraction, but we also have departments for characterising the products and pre-clinical pharmacological testing’.



ICCF performs applied and fundamental research as well as GLP certified analytical and pharmacological studies which makes the institute an important partner for non-EU pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Misu Moscovici, General Director of ICCF, invites research and pharma organizations around the world to benefit from another significant competitive advantage of ICCF: the cost of research which is lower than in Western or Central Europe, making ICCF very attractive to pan-European beneficiaries. Dr. Moscovici adds: ‘We need stronger international cooperation because our local pharmaceutical industry is focusing mostly on formulation of drugs, instead of synthesis or bio-synthesis. We, on the other hand, have a tradition in synthesis and bio-synthesis and have the capacity to develop and transfer technologies that will benefit our foreign partners’.

Expertise in developing new medicine based on plant extracts

The plant extraction laboratory is the most dynamic section of the institute. It elaborates plant extraction technologies and food supplements which is in Dr. Moscovici’s point of view – a growing market. He explains: ‘We recently developed an original medicine, which came from a private investment, aimed to develop eye drops from desert truffles. Desert truffles are very popular in the Middle East as their juice is used by the Bedouins to treat the eye diseases. We developed the medicine and reached the clinical study phase which is now in progress in Turkey’.

The biotechnology department has an impressive record of 22 technologies ready to be transferred to beneficiaries in a wide area of applications such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, biomedical materials, agriculture, packaging etc.

Already having successful partnerships with foreign companies from Italy, Germany and Israel, Dr. Moscovici welcomes cooperation with partners from around the world. They will benefit from ICCF’s expertise in developing new products and compounds, original drug design, advanced separation, biopolymers applications, bio-catalysis in nonconventional media and many others. He concludes: ‘We are sure we can work with European producers and identify niches together in which we can be very competitive in comparison to non-EU companies’.


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