Research Institute for 

Pharmacy & Biochemistry

13 July 2020
About us

VUFB history

The Research Institute for Pharmacy and Biochemistry (VUFB) was established on 1 January 1951 as a new specialized research organisation. For long time its activities related to chemical synthesis, pharmaceutical analysis and technology, pharmacology, biochemistry, a pilot plant and scientific and technical information were concentrated in Prague. Gradually branches throughout the Czech Republic were established.

The first Director was Dr. Edmund Blum. In 1956 the management was taken over by Oldřich Němeček, PhD. After that the institute was headed by Antonín Dlabač, PhD, Jiří Křepelka, PhD and Jiří Dohnal, PhD (1992–1999), and after transformation and privatisation completion it was managed by Zdeněk Novotný, PhD and Radvan Palyza, MSc.

From its establishment, the objectives of the institute were first of all fundamental research of new drugs (about 2/3 of its activities) and applied research (1/3 of the activities). The following subdivisions were formed: chemical, analytical, biological, drug formulation and pilot plant sections. The Documentation Department published technical and economic data for needs of the expert public and Excerpta pharmaceutica. VUFB organized also several conferences with participation of foreign experts.

Until 1990 VUFB was one of two most important research institutes of SPOFA Concern that dealt with research and development of human drugs. In 1990 VUFB was transformed to a state enterprise and later to a joint-stock company. Privatization of VUFB was finalised in 1997, when Léčiva, a.s. became the holder of 95% of shares. In 2005 the legal successor Zentiva, a.s. assumed 100% control over the company.

Selected parts of the initial VUFB were moved to the location of Léčiva, subsequently Zentiva. The new configuration was composed of qualified analytical chemistry, development chemical laboratories, a chemical pilot plant and the information and intellectual property department.

Because the new owner of VUFB, a.s. was interested only in the above mentioned activities related to generic development, the rest of the institute departments were enabled to establish independent companies.

The main reason of the above described development of VUFB was the fact that no innovative pharmaceutical company remained in the Czech Republic or in the Slovak Republic.

A lot of eminent experts and researchers worked in the institute from its foundation. There are just some names: M. Protiva, DSc, M. Semonský, DSc, Assoc. Prof. V. Trčka, DSc, Prof. Z. Votava, DSc, Z. Buděšínský, DSc, J. Trojánek, DSc, M. Kuchař, DSc, I. Krejčí, PhD, Prof. V. Vortela, DSc, Prof. L. Vokrouhlický, DSc, E. Kasafírek, PhD, V. Rejholec, PhD, etc.

During the institute existence several tens of original drugs (34) were developed, for example, dosulepin, medosulepin, metipranolol, lisurid, tergurid, etc. Some pharmaceuticals of plant or animal origin are still being produced and used.

Contemporary VUFB

Thus the name of the new company, the Research Institute for Pharmacy and Biochemistry (VUFB), was not selected occasionally. The solid traditions are to be continued. Our mission is to improve erudition of pharmaceutical specialists through organisation of professional trainings, workshops and conferences and publishing of specialized scientific journals and books. We would like to revive the tradition of basic pharmaceutical research and development in cooperation with Czech universities, the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic and colleagues from foreign universities and research institutes. The initial VUFB had accreditation for doctor study programmes, and we are planning to renew also this tradition in cooperation with our partners.