Fondazione Istituto Insubrico di Ricerca per la Vita - FIIRV

Fondazione Istituto Insubrico di Ricerca per la Vita - FIIRV

We Develop biotechnology research related to life sciences and human health. Isolation and characterization of novel biomolecules.

FIIRV possesses a chemical library made of 10,000 molecules obtained by chemical synthesis, a collection of 166.000 extracts generated from 90,000 microorganisms belonging to actinomycetes, fungi, mixobacteria and eubacteria.

Area of Research

FIIRV is a nonprofit foundation promoting and developing natural products discovery research projects, including valuable compounds/enzymes in the area of biosystems and biomaterials. Asset collections include 18,800 microbial strains, 39,000 microbial extracts, 9,500 pure chemical compounds and 5,000 microbial DNA extracts. Discovery workflow starts from microorganism isolation/cultivation laboratories and screening laboratory equipped for HTS for hit identification, followed by refermentation-downstream processing from flask level to a pilot plant. Chemical analyses for structural characterization of molecules, cell biology assays and animal house for toxicity tests complete the hit-to-lead process.  

Area of Expertise and Main Technologies

  • Isolation and identification of soil microbial strains
  • Small and large scale fermentation of bacterial and fungal strains: orbital shakers, pilot plant with 2 x 5L, 2 x 15L and 2 x 200L fermenters; downstream process equipment: centrifuges, filtration/concentration devices, lyophilizers.
  • High-throughput screening of microbial cultures: automated liquid handling/readers
  • Extraction, purification, structural characterization of hit molecules (HPLC/MS/MS)
  • Preclinical studies (in vitro/in vivo) for hit-to-lead development

Key Organisms

  • Actinomycetes
  • Filamentous Fungi

Industrial Application

FIIRV is very active in supporting the tech transfer from basic to applied research. Lead natural compounds identified and characterized by FIIRV can be highly attractive for companies and entities interested in product development in the field of antibacterial or enzymatic activity. Recent patent applications by FIIRV and several ongoing collaboration programs with international companies and institutes demonstrate the high potential for an industrial development progress aimed at final product and marketing achievement. 

Industrial Sector

  • Pharma
  • Human well-being & Care
  • Biomedical & Biological


Giacomo Carenzi -

Monica Abbondi -

Modification date : 25 April 2023 | Publication date : 17 April 2022 | Redactor : Mauro Di Fenza