Prague - A unique modern building of the Czech Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (IOCB), which has been known around the world thanks to its late AIDS drug researcher Antonin Holy, officially opened in Prague on Thursday.
Nová budova Ústavu organické chemie a biochemie, která bude sloužit především výzkumu v organické chemii, byla slavnostně otevřena 19. června v Praze. Ústav se proslavil díky unikátnímu výzkumu chemika Antonína Holého, jehož jméno budova ponese. Příjmy z Holého patentů tvoří dodnes významnou část rozpočtu instituce. Ústav byl proto schopen stavbu i rekonstrukci vědeckého areálu financovat z vlastních zdrojů a bez dotací. ČTK Kamaryt Michal
The IOCB, which is part of Czech Academy of Sciences, built the new building, dubbed "cauliflower" by its employees and costing more than one billion crowns, without any state subsidy thanks to the profits of Holy´s patents for preparations that have been used worldwide in medicines against AIDS, smallpox, shingles and hepatitis B.
Referring to professor Holy´s work, Czech Academy of Sciences head Jiri Drahos told CTK that he does not know any other institution that would gain so much money by commercialisation after spending so little money on research.
Drahos said he appreciates the new building´s "organic design for organic chemistry."
IOCB is part of the Czech Academy of Sciences.
The building, in which 130 people can work, was designed by architects Ivan Srom and Katerina Maskova, from the VPU Deco Praha studio.
Large laboratories and assessment room covering 1136 square meters can be found on three floors above ground. The top floor has a roof garden and a bridge that connects it with the old building from the interwar period. In the underground part of the building there are garages, chemical storage rooms, utility rooms and a library.
A general reconstruction of the other buildings on the IOCB premises is underway. Its overall costs will be approximately two billion crowns.
The IOCB is the richest Czech scientific institute. Its annual budget is about 500 million crowns, half of which are subsidies and grants and the other half its own finances. The institute has been pursuing projects with a commercial potential because Holy´s patents will start expiring in three years, however.
The IOCB focuses on organic chemistry and biochemistry basic research applied to medicine and the environment.