"Leaving no one behind". The motto of the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which was signed by the United Nations (UN) in 2015 makes clear that combatting poverty and its consequences is an essential part of sustainable development. The fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) is defined as a major aim of the Agenda’s sustainable development goals. The World Health Organisation (WHO) regards twenty poverty-related infectious diseases as NTDs.
Cancer is usually not curable when metastases have formed in the body. Metastases are often resistant to drugs that have successfully eliminated the primary tumour. The basic features of the complex process of metastasis are now known, but many details still remain elusive. Intensive research activities are focusing on new therapeutic concepts aimed at developing effective anti-metastatic therapies.
Liquid biopsy, the analysis of cancer biomarkers and circulating tumour cells in body fluids such as blood, is revolutionising the diagnosis and monitoring of cancer. It has also been possible to expand circulating tumour cells from the blood under laboratory conditions. It is expected that in the future, liquid biopsy will be able to precisely characterise tumour cells at every stage of a cancer.
The High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and two private investors are convinced of the importance of single-cell isolation for the production of biopharmaceuticals and for genetic analysis in research and diagnostics. EUR 3 million will be invested in the further development of the technology, the expansion of the sales organization and in opening up further applications for Cytena’s single-cell printers.
Breast cancer is characterised by broad genetic diversity. Successful treatment is made even more difficult by the fact that, in advanced breast cancer, the properties of metastases often differ significantly from the primary tumour. The Heidelberg CATCH study is now collecting genetic profiles from patients' metastasis tissue samples, which can be used to tailor therapy to individual requirements.
EHRs, i.e. electronic health records (German: Patientenakte, ePA), are hailed as the key to increasing the quality of care. The Appointment Service and Supply Act (TSVG), adopted on 14th March 2019, requires the German statutory health insurance funds to provide policyholders with electronic health records from 1st January 2021 onwards.
In the new gene technology report, the interdisciplinary working group of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW) takes stock of gene technology developments in Germany during the past few decades, and discusses the societal, legal and ethical challenges associated with these technologies in the future. The report is highly topical due to the controversy surrounding the ruling of the European Court of Justice on CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing.
This year's State Research Prize of Baden-Württemberg awarded for outstanding achievements in applied research goes to Andreas Trumpp from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine (HI-STEM). Theresia Bauer, State Minister of Science, Research and the Arts, presented the award, which carries a monetary prize of €100.000, at a festive ceremony on December 10, 2018.
One year after its seed financing, SpinDiag GmbH closes a second financing round of EUR 3 million (USD 3.4 million) as planned. The financing will enable SpinDiag to complete the product development of its first product for screening for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and to start clinical trials. This will pave the way for regulatory approval in the EU.
Teleradiology is the most advanced telemedicine application in Germany. CHILI GmbH from Dossenheim is one of the companies that has contributed to driving the development of teleradiology forward. The company specialises in PACS and teleradiology systems and helps connect clinics and physicians.
For quite a number of illnesses, patients need to have the concentrations of the medications they are taking and their blood metabolites checked on a regular basis, which can make life rather difficult. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg have now developed a test based on the firefly enzyme luciferase. This enzyme can be used to quickly and cheaply measure parameters of interest.
Artificial intelligence is currently one of the most innovative issues, but also one of the most controversial research areas. It already has a firm footing in many areas of our everyday life and often we are not even aware of it. Artificial intelligence has long been an integral part of many processes in research and diagnostics in medicine and the life sciences – and it will be even more widely used in the future.
BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg’s new industry report entitled "The Healthcare Industry 2018: Facts and Figures for Baden-Württemberg" has just been published in both German and English. The topic neatly dovetails with the state’s political activities. An evaluation of the region carried out on behalf of the Baden-Württemberg government has clearly recognised the importance of the healthcare sector as a driver of innovation.
Diagnosing suitable biomarkers is a prerequisite for tailoring personalised therapies to patient heterogeneity. Genetic tests and genome sequencing play a key role in these diagnoses. Up until now, personalised therapy has achieved the greatest success in the field of oncology. However, personalised treatments are also gaining in importance for treating other diseases.
The junior researchers Dr. Daniel Geiger, Tobias Neckernuß and Jonas Pfeil from Ulm have developed an innovative method for non-contact real-time analysis of cells and other particles. The analysis involves low data rates and correspondingly little effort. This is what makes the method so attractive for medical applications.
Ulm has long been a world leader in diagnosing and treating rare neurological disorders, notably amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Huntington's disease (HD). We spoke with Professor Albert C. Ludolph, spokesperson for the Ulm DZNE site, medical director of the Clinic for Neurology at the RKU (University and Rehabilitation Clinics of Ulm) and world-renowned ALS researcher.
SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement has received capital commitments of over €90 million in its fifth fund's first closing. The fifth generation of SHS funds is also focused on the life sciences and medical technology sector, and thus on the growing global healthcare market with innovative and strong players, especially in Germany and Switzerland.
Around 6,000 genetic diseases can be diagnosed using genetic tests. Genetic testing enables the accurate identification of diseases especially when symptoms are unclear, and also allows statements to be made about disease progression. However, restrictive regulations considerably hinder the use of genetic diagnostics. BIOPRO spoke with Dr. Dr. Saskia Biskup, a human genetics specialist and co-founder of the Tübingen-based company CeGaT.
30 to 40 percent of all stroke patients suffer from persistent signs of paralysis that prevents them from using the affected hand. The innovative combination of two non-invasive treatment methods is a therapeutic approach with considerable potential for treating severely impaired patients.
Prof. Hans A. Kestler knows a great deal about large amounts of data. He heads up the Institute of Medical Systems Biology at the University of Ulm and is constantly inundated with cooperation enquiries from clinicians. On behalf of BIOPRO, Walter Pytlik asked him whether the conditions for using big data more in biomedical research are already largely present.
In Germany, one of the big names in evidence-based medicine is Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Gerd Antes, co-director of Cochrane Germany. In the following interview, Antes talks about the hype surrounding big data, warns against false promises and reminds us about what is taken for granted.
Big data is a widely used buzzword in today's information era. The use of big data in the digital world presents both an opportunity and a risk. Mass data is now used and analysed in almost all areas of life. Even the healthcare sector is undergoing extensive digitisation.
Michael Baumann, Chairman and Scientific Director of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, receives the 2017 German Cancer Award in the category "Translational Research". The science award, which is sponsored by the German Cancer Society and the German Cancer Foundation, is one of the most prestigious distinctions in cancer medicine in Germany.