Innovation award to new molecules for drugs against covid-19


With the Attractive Innovation Project Award, the researchers behind CoLD Therapeutics are taking the next step in turning their newly developed substances into a pharmaceutical drug against covid-19. "Our project is attracting a lot of attention and the response we receive inspires," says Lindon Moodie, Associate Professor at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry.

Lindon Moodie and Anja Sandström, the Faculty of Pharmacy
Lindon Moodie and Anja Sandström, the Faculty of Pharmacy

The research team behind CoLD Therapeutics is the recipient of UU Innovation’s Attractive Innovation Project Award, a prize awarded to innovative projects that successfully attract external funders. The interdisciplinary collaboration, which in February presented a group of new molecules with the potential to form the basis of a pharmaceutical drug against covid-19, includes Lindon Moodie and Anja Sandström, researchers at the Faculty of Pharmacy.

“Our operations are currently in an intensive phase where we, with promising results, are fine-tuning the basic structure of the substances we have developed. The fact that we can now also put the quality mark Attractive Innovation Project on our product moves us yet another big leap closer to taking our molecules into industrial development,” says Anja Sandström, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry.

The research group, also including Jens Carlsson and Helena Danielson at Uppsala University, is working with a focus on one of the virus' enzymes and is now tailoring variations of their new molecules in order to optimise them into a future effective, safe and orally available drug. The test results remain positive and indicate effect against all known variants of the coronavirus.

Helena Danielson, Jens Carlsson and Anja Sandström
Helena Danielson, Jens Carlsson and Anja Sandström

“The project's early results are published in the high impact Journal of the American Chemical Society, and the response is overwhelming with an impressive number of views,” says Lindon Moodie, Associate Professor at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry.

Attractive Innovation Project is an award given by UU Innovation to innovative startup companies and projects started and run by researchers at Uppsala University. The award, presented for the first time in 2017, recognizes "significant efforts and progress on the path from idea to innovation" as well as success in securing the “external funds that further strengthen development opportunities ".

“We have already received valuable support at SciLifeLab's Drug Discovery and Development Platform, and have now in collaboration with UUprojekt AB recruited a business developer who is currently mapping the possibilities for additional funding, as well as which companies are best equipped to turn our work into an approved pharmaceutical drug against the coronavirus, and we can state that the future of our molecules looks promising,” says Anja Sandström.


  • Attractive Innovation Project Award is UU Innovation's award to innovative projects and start-ups that have successfully attracted external funds that further strengthen development opportunities.
  • CoLD Therapeutics is a collaboration between Jens Carlsson, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Helena Danielson, Department of Chemistry-BMC and Lindon Moodie and Anja Sandström, Department of Medicinal Chemistry.



Anja Sandström
Professor in Medicinal Chemistry

Lindon Moodie
Associate Professor

text: Magnus Alsne, photo: Mikael Wallerstedt, UU Innovation

News from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry

Last modified: 2024-04-08