Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and Fraunhofer IZI open joint research laboratory for natural product-based therapeutics

Press release / May 25, 2021

Are algae the superfood and active ingredient suppliers of the future? Under the direction of Professor Carola Griehl, researchers at the Competence Center Algal Biotechnology at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences have been working on this question for many years. On May 27, 2021 the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI open the Center for Natural Product-Based Therapeutics (ZNT). In addition to the invited guests on site, all interested parties are invited via live stream to the ceremonial opening.

View of the algae strain collection at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences.
© Algae team at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences.
At the ZNT, active substances/active substance-enriched products from algae are to be identified and produced in the future.

The idea of a joint research laboratory at the location Köthen, Germany, was born from a long-standing cooperation between the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI. Together they have already identified and patented active ingredients from algae that could be useful in the treatment of dementia. The cooperation with ZNT is now institutionalized and will henceforth combine the experience in algae biotechnology at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences with the expertise in drug development at Fraunhofer IZI. In the future, the focus will be particularly on algae ingredients and their efficacy in bacterial infections and inflammations.

Algae represent a real treasure chest of bioactive molecules. The ZNT at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences will identify and produce active ingredients/active-ingredient-enriched products from algae and plants for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries. At the festive event on May 27, the participating partners will present the importance of algae as a renewable raw material source and how the biological effectiveness of algae will be used for the development of natural product-based therapeutics in the ZNT. Welcome addresses will be given by Dr. Jürgen Ude, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economics, Science and Digitalization of Saxony-Anhalt, Dr. Michael Meister, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Education and Research, and Prof. Dr. Dr. Ulrike Köhl, Director of Fraunhofer IZI. For online participants, a video presentation of the ZNT will be offered afterwards. 

In addition, the Central German Algae Round Table (MISTA) will take place for the first time in the afternoon on May 27, 2021, starting at 2 pm. This is a new regional communication platform for representatives from industry and research who are interested in the utilization of algae and their ingredients. In addition to short presentations, new algae-based product ideas and utilization opportunities can be discussed in a relaxed atmosphere. Please note, again participation at the venue is for invited guests only.