The pressure is on to develop novel vaccines based on messenger RNA and aimed at combating cancer and protecting against pandemics. Although mRNA vaccination as a cancer monotherapy has suffered a setback this year, the industry is nevertheless confident that it will succeed because of existing proof that mRNA vaccines stimulate the body's immune defence.
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), in collaboration with colleagues from Heidelberg University Hospital, have been able to visualize brain cancer using a novel MRI method. They use a simple sugar solution instead of conventional contrast agents, which can have side effects in the body.
Realistic alternatives to animal testing are more in demand than ever, especially in the drug development field. One possible solution is 3D cell cultures that possess the characteristics of the tissue from which they originate. Such systems were already developed at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) many years ago. Due to the huge demand for such systems, Prof. Dr. Eric Gottwald and two of his colleagues founded a company called 300MICRONS GmbH, which develops and markets 3D cell culture systems for different applications. The company will soon be able to produce large quantities of such cell culture systems.
Phytopharmaceuticals are herbal medicines whose efficacy is down to one or several plant substances or active ingredients. They have been used for treating diseases since time immemorial. This traditional knowledge is still the basis for many medicinal products made from plants or parts thereof. Herbal medicines have been produced in Baden-Württemberg for many generations.