Department of Drug Design and Target Validation

The Department of Drug Design and Target Validation in Halle (Saale) offers a broad range of methods for the development of drugs, including the identification and characterisation of target proteins, the chemical characterisation of drug candidates, effectiveness testing of substances up to animal models and support during preclinical and clinical programmes with analytical methods. The department’s employees have comprehensive experience in industrial and pharma-related research.

The development of new treatment concepts comprises both small molecules and biologicals. These are supported by rational drug design based on X-ray crystallography and the development of validation methods accompanying the studies. In addition to modern analytical methods (MALDI-TOF, LC-MS), the department has a broad range of bio-physical methods to characterise therapeutically relevant metabolic pathways and their key proteins as well as cell-based and pharmacological models to characterise novel chemical and biological agents.

The Department of Drug Design and Target Validation is a certified testing centre of the GLP testing laboratory.

Research topics


Drugs and structural biology




Antibody technologies




GLP Test Facility


Advanced Analytics Technology Platform



Research projects funded by the EU

Research projects in the Molecular Drug Biochemistry and Therapy Development Project Group at Fraunhofer IZI that are supported by the Land of Saxony-Anhalt using funds provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Project of the department

Establishing a device unit for drug characterization: Shining the spotlight on neurodegenerative diseases

From the press


Press release

Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology and Immunic GmbH carry out joint research on new drugs for treating autoimmune diseases

Vivoryon Therapeutics AG / 16.4.2020

Press release

Development Program for Meprin Protease Inhibitors with Intended Therapeutic Use in Fibrosis, Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease