The development of new drugs entails testing using suitable animal models. Animal experiments are therefore an integral component in the development of new drugs, therapies and diagnostic procedures. The institute’s Centre for Experimental Medicine (TEZ) is a central unit which facilitates important steps in translating research findings into a clinical application for human subjects.
Moreover, the institute has access to one of the most stateof-the-art animal houses in Germany. The TEZ is distinguished by its highly technical facilities, which are optimized to handle preclinical research projects. These facilities include modern rooms in which the animals are kept, featuring standardized hygiene levels and individually ventilated cage systems that are monitored via the building management system.
The health and care of the animals is of the highest priority. Highly qualified personnel support the scientific staff in daily care, health monitoring and breeding activities, and in administering treatments.
All experimental work can be carried out under practically sterile conditions. Several fully fitted operating suites allow small and large animals to be examined and treated. The comprehensive, state-of-the-art equipment guarantees correct anesthesia, analgesia and species-relevant blood analyses.
An expansive equipment pool for imaging technologies at the institute enables partly non-invasive analysis methods and also contributes towards reducing the need for animal experiments. This means, for example, that in vivo imaging analyses can be carried out using, for instance, 7 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging, bioluminescence imaging or small-animal CT.
In order to work on a range of issues, the TEZ has access to areas approved for genetic engineering safety levels S1 to S3; it may also conduct in vivo studies in line with GLP (Good Laboratory Practice).
The TEZ forms the central interface at the institute for processing preclinical development projects. Furthermore, cooperation projects with external clients and other research institutes are also carried out. At the same time, the TEZ acts as a training facility for animal care supervisors in a research and clinical setting, also offering advanced training courses for experimenters.
Adherence to the animal welfare guidelines is strictly monitored by the institute’s animal welfare officer and regularly controlled by the regional animal welfare authority.