Business units

Cell and Gene Therapy Business Unit

The Cell and Gene Therapy Business Unit is especially important to Fraunhofer IZI and comprises development activities and contract research projects to develop innovative cell and gene therapy concepts as well as their validation, testing and manufacture according to GLP and GMP standards. In this regard, the Cell Therapeutics business field comprises all of the developments relating to proprietary therapeutic concepts, while research and development services for industry partners involving the testing and manufacture of cell and gene therapy agents as commissioned by the customer stand at the fore of the Manufacturing and Quality Control business field. The
institute’s own future developments will be more heavily devoted to the field of tumor immunology. The Manufacturing and Quality Control business field is currently focused on approaches to fight cancer and treat cardiovascular diseases; the field is, however, generally set up to deal with all indications.

Drugs Business Unit

Fraunhofer IZI’s Drugs Business Unit represents large parts of the preclinical value chain relating to drug and vaccine development and is subdivided into the business fields Drug Testing (in vitro and in vivo), Proprietary Drugs, and Vaccines. With regard to drug testing, development services in the form of in vitro and in vivo models are primarily offered for the detailed characterization and optimization of drug candidates with a view to their efficacy and safety. The models established in this area are adapted in close cooperation with the customer and, in many cases, completely redeveloped and validated. Moreover, Fraunhofer IZI develops proprietary drugs and vaccines for human and veterinary medicine. In this regard, the range of services and parallel proprietary developments should efficiently complement each other. The developed drug and vaccine candidates are licensed to industry partners in line with specific projects at different times, or form the basis of company spin-offs from Fraunhofer IZI.

Diagnostics Business Unit

At its four sites in Germany and its two sites abroad (Canada, South Korea), Fraunhofer IZI carries out a number of R&D projects in the field of diagnostics that range from finding biomarkers and clinical validation through to assay and test development for the areas of medicine, agricultural economics and food economics right over to the development of respective diagnostic devices and prototype construction. In this regard, the Biomarkers and Assays business field is primarily focused on identifying biomarkers and other marker structures besides using them for diagnosis and prognosis purposes in connection with assays and test systems that have been developed accordingly. By way of contrast, the Analytical Equipment business field looks first and foremost at establishing new analysis and technology platforms for diagnostic applications, which can also be based on publicly accessible, common-knowledge biomarkers or target structures supplied by cooperation partners, alongside biomarkers that the institute has developed itself. Both business fields are closely interrelated, which creates benefits in particular within the context of the demanding biomarker and diagnostics market. Moreover, this business unit includes the development, optimization and diagnostic application of imaging procedures.

Biosystems Technology Business Unit

In the Biosystems Technology Business Unit, Fraunhofer IZI brings together biomedical, engineering and process engineering expertise in order to develop system solutions in the fields of advanced manufacturing procedures, medical engineering and diagnostics. The components required to design integrative systems are developed in the System Modules business field. Furthermore, R&D activities at Fraunhofer IZI also concentrate on the automation of manufacturing and analytical processes in the business field bearing the same name, whereby the value chain consists of not only drafting, developing and optimizing equipment modules, but also their integration. Particular attention is directed here to the automation of processes that have so far required a high degree of human input and interaction in the laboratory, especially with regard to manufacturing cell therapeutic products. The Biobanks business field, which has also been allocated to the Biosystems Technology Business Unit, is currently under development.