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  • Nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA are being drawn upon more and more in modern medicine, with gene sequences, for instance, being applied in gene therapies and DNA vaccines. The latter of these offer multiple advantages compared with traditional vaccination methods as they are quick to manufacture, easy to adapt and are highly stable. Moreover, the coded antigens are produced by the body itself, meaning they are correctly modified and/or folded. Immunization using DNA vaccines activates both the cellular and the humoral immune defense, i.e. the production of antibodies by the B-lymphocytes, thus helping to provide effective protection against pathogens.

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  • Woman working in cleanroom facility
    © Fraunhofer IZI

    Between 2011 and 2017, the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology assisted American biotech company Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. in the conduct of a phase three clinical trial investigating the efficacy of the new DCVax®-L cell therapy in the treatment of glioblastomas. Fraunhofer IZI was responsible for preparing the investigational medicinal products for the European part of the trial. On May 29, 2018, the company published initial clinical findings in the Journal of Translational Medicine.

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  • Synthesizer for the synthetic development and automated production of complex carbohydrates
    © Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPIKG)

    Sugar can have many negative effects on the body. Overconsumption can give rise to obesity, high blood pressure and even diabetes. But there is more to sugar than meets the eye. For their next joint project, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPIKG) have set their sights on polysaccharides. The two institutes will join forces to investigate how the arrangement of sugar molecules on DNA structures can be utilized to develop new antimicrobial agents. Planned to span a four-year period from May 2018, the "Glyco3Display" research project is being funded as part of the cooperation program between Fraunhofer and Max Planck.

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  • On 22 March 2018, the Saxon State Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture recertified the GLP test facility at Fraunhofer IZI. At the same time, part of the Molecular Drug Biochemistry and Therapy Development department at the IZI site in Halle (Saale) was issued with its first statement of GLP compliance as an independent test site. The certification process followed an inspection conducted at the respective GLP test sites by the competent authorities in the states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt from 8 - 10 November 2017.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology’s Rostock-based Extracorporeal Immunomodulation Department has been successful in its application for a grant in the field of pharmaceutical research offered by Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited (Daiichi Sankyo). In line with the competition title "Take a New Challenge for Drug Discovery (TaNeDS) Europe 2017", the team presented a project aimed at developing a new humanized mouse model which will improve research into inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The project started in February 2018.

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  • In the development of new medications and medical engineering, there is a gap between the discovery of new potential active ingredients and products and their further development into medicinal products and medical devices by the industry. The Helmholtz Association and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, together with the Deutsche Hochschulmedizin, have now jointly brought the Proof-of-Concept initiative into being. It promotes the translation of innovative, promising research projects.

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  • McMaster opens $33M Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing research centre
    © McMaster University

    The new $33-million Fraunhofer-McMaster Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM) has opened its doors, bringing together the expertise of researchers from science, health sciences and engineering. Located at the McMaster Innovation Park, the 20,000-square-foot facility is the result of a joint partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI), a world leader in manufacturing cell therapies, based in Leipzig, Germany. "McMaster is a worldwide leader in life sciences and bioengineering research and we are grateful for this partnership with Fraunhofer IZI, and all levels of government, which will help accelerate our discoveries into the marketplace, creating many health and economic benefits for future generations," says University President Patrick Deane.

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  • DGTHG President Dr. Wolfgang Harringer (right) presents Professor Andreas Oberbach from Fraunhofer IZI (left) with the Hans G. Borst Award
    © DGTHG/Fotograf Mario Schmitt

    On 17 February 2018 during its 47th annual congress meeting, the German Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (DGTHG) honored the academic achievement of Professor Andreas Oberbach from the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology by presenting him with the Hans G Borst Award.

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