Program overview

Students enrol to the accredited master or doctoral program at partnering universities where they receive their degree after graduation. Research topics are defined based on student’s interest in collaboration with their academic leader and an industrial scientist from Zentiva. The study program covers theoretical subjects as well as experimental investigation using state-of-the-art equipment. In addition, students participate in practical training covering disciplines such as regulatory, intellectual property, portfolio and project management. Students regularly present their work at The Parc Symposium.

  1. Research areas

    Solid state chemistry focuses on discovery and detailed characterization application of new solid forms of drug substances. To reach this goal we use various experimental techniques and combine them with modelling approaches to maximize the positive outcome of screening process. Once new solid forms have been found, we use chemical engineering principles to develop scale-up processes for their production. Last area of interest is characterization of chemical and physical stability of prepared APIs and, if necessary, development of technical solutions for improvement of stability. See examples of our research >

    Preformulation and solid state analysis. Analysis of original drug product with available solid state techniques and development of new methodology for its characterization, comparison of various API solid forms in order to select the most promising one for further development and, finally, the preformulation. Preformulation entails designing small formulation experiments with selected API solid form based on original drug product investigation and patent restrictions. The main goal is to acquire deep understanding of reference product as well as preformulation trials in order to publish the results as patent applications and/or scientific publications. See examples of our research >

    Drug design and process. We investigate the relationship between drug product composition, manufacturing process, internal microstructure and end-use properties such as disintegration and dissolution. Using chemical engineering principles, we combine advanced experimental and computational tools to develop methodologies for the rational design and scale-up of pharmaceutical formulation processes. We investigate novel delivery forms and processes such as nanoparticle depot systems, amorphisation on porous carriers, or additive manufacturing technologies (3D printing). See examples of our research >

    Biopharmacy. Biopharmacy in The Parc focuses on understanding of release characteristics of drugs and their impact on pharmacokinetic profile in humans. We are developing new experimental setups to measure and describe behavior of active substance when it is being released from the drug product. Data measured in the laboratory are then used for in-silico modelling and prediction of pharmacokinetic profile in humans. The ultimate goal of our effort is to eliminate unnecessary human trials through employment of smart laboratory experiments. See examples of our research >

    Preclinical in-vivo testing. This research area focuses on development and subsequent utilization of appropriate pre-clinical in vivo models to describe drug pharmacokinetics in vivo. We focus on physiological factors affecting bioavailability and drug fate in the organism as well as determination of pharmacokinetic characteristics of various formulation modifications or alternative ways of drug administration. Broad aim of this research area is to predict formulation-specific pharmacokinetic properties in humans based on preclinical data.  See examples of our research >

  2. Key people & organizations

    The five key research areas at The Parc are led by Miroslav Šoóš, Ondřej Dammer, František Štěpánek, Josef Beránek, and Martin Šíma respectively. Each area is covered by a dedicated team which includes the leader plus a number of academic and industrial scientists, PhD and Master students. In total, there are currently 25 PhD students and more than 30 scientists from participating organizations in the program. Importantly, students are working together across the research areas. In addition, we collaborate with leading European academic institutions and organizations such as Trinity College in Dublin, University College Cork, University of Limerick, University of Helsinki, University of Copenhagen, Université d'Auvergne Clermont-Ferrand, Imperial College London and others.

  3. Program duration

    The Parc PhD program lasts 4 years. Students have to fulfil the criteria of their home universities. The same applies for master track students.

  4. Working language

    Working language is English. The Parc hosts students and academic leaders of several nationalities.

  5. Funding & support

    Every student is financially supported by the home university and a scholarship from Zentiva. In addition, Zentiva is providing equipment and material as well as drug substances on which the research is performed. In addition, particular basic research may be supported by grants from the Czech government and the European Union. Students are regularly presenting their results on scientific conferences. Additional opportunities for student scientific growth are internships with collaborating academic and industrial institutions which are financially supported by Zentiva, Erasmus and/or The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.

  6. Entry requirements

    Every student has to fulfill entry requirements for the PhD program of the academic partner where she/he will do their PhD study. Students have to be ready to study in English. We will provide necessary help with PhD supervisor selection and organization of the stay in the Czech Republic to all accepted foreign students.

  7. Students’ voice

    “My PhD in Zentiva was a great opportunity to combine academia and industry. I learnt a lot about drug development and specific research work in industry while still having time for my scientific interests. I was surrounded by top experts and could use high-tech equipment. On the other hand, I had the opportunity to teach students, attend conferences and write papers. The best from both! This experience opened me the pharmaceutical world. Currently, I am a leader of Physical Chemistry team at UCB in UK.”
    — Kateřina Punčochová

  8. Zentiva - UCT Prague partnership

    The idea to start scientific cooperation between Zentiva and UCT on specific topics covering originated  in 2014. The mission has been to broaden scientific knowledge in Zentiva and develop a pool of potential employees. From the perspective of UCT, the goal has been to build long-term scientific collaboration with industrial partners. The program has already produced a number of successful PhD students with many scientific publications, conference awards and patent applications. Furthermore, many of them are currently employees of pharmaceutical companies such as Zentiva, UCB and Janssen. Other academic partners also joined the Zentiva-UCT cooperation. In 2019 the project was officially branded as The Parc.