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The story of our foundation

PPI-FIT is the result of divergent thinking. It is the outcome of academic excellence at its best, where a cross-fertilizing environment allows brilliant minds to pursue disruptive ideas.

Emiliano Biasini and Pietro Faccioli, co-founders and inventors of PPI-FIT, tried to tackle the complexity of drug discovery with an unconventional approach. As a theoretical physicist, Pietro understood how the powerful mathematical tools of quantum physics applied to biology would have allowed for the first time the characterization with an atomic resolution of the protein folding pathways of large, biologically relevant proteins. Emiliano, as a biologist, had been working on the prion protein all of his professional life, having as his ultimate goal to find a cure for prion diseases.

Being just a few buildings away from each other at the University of Trento, the two worlds would have never met without the vision of Giovanni Spagnolli, co-founder and PPI-FIT developer (now CTO of the company). Being a biotechnologist, he chose Pietro as his master thesis external advisor and Emiliano as an internal advisor.

Once Emiliano and Pietro met, the spark of innovation aroused immediately. The idea of targeting a folding intermediate was disruptive yet highly risky. However, supported by Maria Letizia Barreca and Graziano Lolli, co-founders and PPI-FIT developers, they could complete a validation project on the prion protein, now published in Communications Biology (Nature Publishing Group).