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.
Which substances are suitable for treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's? Due to complex biochemical relationships, testing suitable drug candidates is difficult, especially in the early drug development phase. Many predictive test systems only cover individual aspects. A team from Baden-Württemberg and France is now combining different models to develop a new approach.
Tumour metastases are often resistant to the drug that is used to eliminate the primary tumour. Genome-wide analyses of mutation patterns in the primary tumour and its metastases provide information on the aggressiveness of cancer and may help to find the best available means of further treatment. This has been demonstrated by scientists from Heidelberg in a clinical trial on the molecular evolution of renal cancer.
Research laboratories around the world have long focused on studying the whole human genome. It is hoped that knowing the whole human genome will improve diagnostics and enable more specific therapies. Although genome analysis has not yet reached routine clinical application, whole genome sequencing has already raised many ethical and legal issues - for researchers, physicians and patients.
While breast cancer survival has clearly improved in recent years, women with triple-negative breast cancer have benefitted very little from progress in cancer medicine. Targeted therapies aimed at inhibiting epigenetic regulators might offer a potential new option for the treatment of breast cancer. Prof. Dr. Roland Schüle and Dr. Jochen Maurer have discovered an epigenetic enzyme called KDM4 and come up with a new cell model that significantly facilitates the development of new cancer drugs.
Lena Maier-Hein from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) helps physicians get better vision during minimally-invasive surgery. Using novel methods of image analysis, she wants to provide additional image information for surgeons. Thus, they can better differentiate tumors from healthy tissue and execute safer surgical tumor therapies. Maier-Hein now receives the Prize of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, which is donated by the Monika Kutzner Foundation.
The causes, signs and symptoms of liver cancer are extremely complex. Investigating them requires the collaboration of many experts across university and regional boundaries. A new transregional research group is now studying the complex overall mechanisms at the cellular, genetic and molecular level in order to develop new concepts and drugs for treating liver and bile duct cancers.
Tuebingen, Germany and Houston, Texas, October 4, 2017 – Immatics, a leading company in the field of cancer immunotherapy, today announced the completion of its Series E financing, raising $58 million.
A new and particularly reliable method for marking cells can simplify research into diseases such as myocardial infarction, diabetes or Alzheimer's and reduce the use of test animals: Scientists from the University of Tübingen have developed a method by which they can target specific cell types in mice and monitor their behavior using positron emission tomography (PET). PET-based cell tracking allows scientists to observe complex life processes in the body without subjecting test animals to invasive methods.
Antibiotic-resistant pathogens are becoming an increasing problem, especially in hospitals. Infected patients must be isolated as soon as possible. However, appropriate methods for testing patients upon admission to hospital and isolating them if necessary are still lacking. A young biotechnology company from Baden-Württemberg called SpinDiag GmbH has developed a cost-effective method for the rapid testing of microbial resistance in normal hospital wards without the need for comprehensive equipment.
A research team from Freiburg is developing a method for identifying human influenza viruses of animal origin. This could potentially improve measures taken to prevent imminent pandemics. The researchers are working with genetically modified mice. Transgenic mice also play a role in the development of a ’universal’ influenza vaccine.
Therapeutic success can only be achieved when diagnoses are as precise as possible. Nowadays, genetic analyses can make precise diagnoses for many diseases. And thanks to high-throughput technology, results are available to patients very quickly. Dr. Dr. Saskia Biskup recognised the importance of precision medicine many years ago and went on to found CeGaT GmbH, a company that combines human genetics with high-throughput sequencing. Three subsidiaries have since been created and Biskup, a medical doctor by training, would under no circumstances give up her autonomy for a purely academic career.
The German healthcare cost reimbursement system differentiates between in- and outpatient medical products. In an interview with Caroline Ref and Jasmin Dabrowski from BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg, Michael Weißer, Chief Operating Officer of AiM GmbH in Lörrach, gives interesting insights into the reimbursement of medical care products, in particular with regard to the introduction of new and innovative diagnosis and treatment methods.
The Freiburg-based startup SpinDiag GmbH recently closed a 1.6 Mio. EUR seed-round with three private investors. The team developed a revolutionary point-of-care screening system for testing patients for antibiotic-resistant bacteria at their admission to hospitals and almost instantly so. The seed-capital will make it feasible to bring SpinDiag’s system from its current laboratory environment to first tests in hospitals.