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12 November 2021

Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic is the recipient of the 2021 Nikola Tesla Award for the achievements in the field of science

Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic, CEO and founder of Swiss Rockets AG and RocketVax AG, both domiciled in Basel, Switzerland, has been named as the recipient of the 2021 Nikola Tesla Award for his accomplishments in the field of science.

Nikola Tesla Award is a prestigious, national award given by the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The laureates of this award are prominent individuals of Serbian origin who have contributed to the promotion of Serbia and strengthening of ties between the motherland and Serbs in the region and the diaspora. Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic has been named as the recipient of the Nikola Tesla Award for advocating the achievements of Serbian scientists in the world through his scientific attainments in the field of oncology, as well as for leading the team of experts in the development of the second generation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic is one of Switzerland’s leading serial pharma entrepreneurs, a medicinal chemist, and a cancer scientist with more than fifteen years of experience in oncology drug development.

Together with his sister Natasa, Vladimir co-discovered the drug Bimiralisib (PQR309) in 2007 at the University of Basel. Bimiralisib is the best-in-class oral and brain-penetrant dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, with applications in various cancer indications.

In 2010, Vladimir was the winner of the Swiss Venture Kick for the elaboration of the PIQUR business idea. He founded the company PIQUR Therapeutics AG in 2011, as a spin-off of the University of Basel, to develop Bimiralisib. Vladimir led PIQUR AG as CEO and Vice-Chairman and made it an international biotech company. In 2014, Vladimir won with PIQUR AG the Northwest Switzerland Young Entrepreneur Award, and in 2015, the Swiss Economic Forum Award.

In 2016, Vladimir founded TargImmune Therapeutics AG, a biotechnology company focused on cancer cell-targeted immunotherapies. Swiss Rockets AG, one of Vladimir’s latest enterprises, was founded in 2018, to become a leading biotech hub with a unique business model in the field of oncology. In 2020, Vladimir founded RocketVax AG, a company that gathers expert scientists from the University of Basel, the University of Zurich, ETH Zurich, the University Hospital Basel, and the Swiss Institute of Tropical and Public Health in Basel with the goal of developing the second generation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

About RocketVax AG

RocketVax AG is a Swiss biotech startup based in Basel, founded in 2020. RocketVax AG is a subsidiary of Swiss Rockets AG, a Swiss incubator and accelerator for Swiss startups. The company is based on the relationship between Swiss Rockets AG, Gigabases Switzerland AG, a spin-off of ETH Zurich, and a team of expert scientists from the University of Basel, the University of Zurich, ETH Zurich, the University Hospital Basel, and the Swiss Institute of Tropical and Public Health in Basel. RocketVax AG uses proprietary molecular biology and chemical technology to develop novel vaccines. The chemical approach is based on the core technology of Gigabases, which has provided synthetically produced DNA. As a result, leading Swiss experts in immunology and virology have joined forces to implement a novel development concept against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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