At present, potential new drugs have to be tested on animals before they can be used on humans. However, results obtained from animals are not always transferrable to the situation in humans, which is why researchers around the world have long been seeking alternatives. Miniature human organs that can be used to test the efficacy of potential human drugs might provide a solution.
Some scientists refer to the latest developments in the field of regenerative medicine as the "next revolution in medicine". With the help of gene therapies or stem cells, regenerative medicine aims not only to treat disease symptoms, but to cure them at source. Some approaches are already being used to treat patients and several others are close to application.
When it comes to universities as start-up incubators, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA is often used as a prime example of entrepreneurial impact. Well over 100 high-tech spin-offs have been set up in the vicinity of the renowned university. Many German universities also offer attractive conditions for scientists with an entrepreneurial spirit.