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  • The research and pilot facility at Fraunhofer IZI. Before it can be used in industrial vaccine production, the dimensions of the system must be reduced to the size of a refrigerator.
    © Fraunhofer IZI

    Producing vaccines is a tricky task – especially in the case of inactivated vaccines, in which pathogens must be killed without altering their structure. Until now, this task has generally involved the use of toxic chemicals. Now, however, an innovative new technology developed by Fraunhofer researchers – the first solution of its kind – will use electron beams to produce inactivated vaccines quickly, reproducibly and without the use of chemicals.

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  • Fraunhofer IZI’s “Molecular Drug Biochemistry and Therapy Development” (MWT) project group was set up in October 2013 to explore and develop new molecular strategies for the treatment of neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases. Over the course of its five-year start-up phase, the group has become a fully-fledged part of the research market and has positioned itself well for the future. Following its evaluation on 10 April 2018, and after a unanimous vote taken by the evaluation committee on 30 November 2018, the off-site department in Halle (Saale) has been included in the regular federal and state financing received by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, safeguarding its future from 1 January 2019.

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  • Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that would not normally affect mice in their natural habitat. Despite this, the animals are indispensable when it comes to Alzheimer’s research. Novel mouse models are required to more clearly display the complex interactions and relations involved in Alzheimer’s disease; models that would lead to a better understanding of the causes and progression of the disease and – it is hoped – that would facilitate the development of promising therapies and would enable the disease to be diagnosed as early as possible. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI have now taken an important step forward in creating more appropriate mouse models. At the beginning of November, the team from Halle (Saale), Germany, attended the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting, where they presented for the very first time their latest advances in the development of new animal models, addressing a wide scientific audience.

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  • Pilot Plant for the Industrial-Scale Production of Safe and Effective Vaccines
    © Fraunhofer IZI

    In August 2018, a pilot plant for low-energy electron irradiation of liquids was installed and commissioned at Fraunhofer IZI in Leipzig. This plant is designed to contribute to scaling up an innovative procedure for inactivating viruses and other pathogens from laboratory to industrial scale.

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  • Opening of the new Fraunhofer Project Center "Microelectronic And Optical Systems For Biomedicine" (MEOS) in Erfurt, Germany.
    © Fraunhofer IZI

    On 19 October 2018, the Fraunhofer project center "Microelectronic and Optical Systems for Biomedicine" (MEOS) celebrated its opening in Erfurt, Thuringia, together with top representatives from the fields of politics, science and business. Three Fraunhofer institutes – the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF and the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI – will conduct joint research projects into new biomedical applications in this area in future, working closely together with business partners.

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  • Professor Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, gave a laudatory speech about the founder of the Fraunhofer IZI, Professor Frank Emmrich.
    © Fraunhofer IZI

    This year’s Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium was held on September 27, 2018 in honor of institute founder Professor Frank Emmrich. Professor Emmrich set up the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI in Leipzig back in 2005. In December 2017, after 13 years of success and strong growth, he handed over the reins to Professor Ulrike Köhl. 150 invited guests, companions, longstanding research partners, colleagues and members of staff came together with various speakers to look back at key milestones in the career of the renowned immunologist. President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Professor Reimund Neugebauer also expressed his thanks.

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  • Production of CAR-T cell therapy in the clean room of Fraunhofer IZI
    © Fraunhofer IZI

    Novartis and Fraunhofer IZI announced today that a further agreement has been concluded between Novartis and the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology in Leipzig for the manufacture of the CAR (chimeric antigen receptor)-T cell therapy for patients in Europe over the next few years. The collaboration that began back in 2015 to manufacture CAR-T cell therapies for patients taking part in clinical trials initiated by Novartis is therefore being successfully expanded and continued.

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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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