Medicines should act as quickly as possible and ideally only at the site of disease. However, this may be difficult when the medicines are taken up via the digestive tract or the blood system. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have now developed a biohybrid microrobot consisting of red blood cells and bacteria that can be loaded with active ingredients and guided through the body to deliver drugs to specific regions.
Velabs Therapeutics GmbH, a leader in rapid screening of functional therapeutic antibodies, today announced the closing of a €3 million Series B financing round to advance its functional antibody screening programme and to strengthen its own pipeline of preclinical functional antibodies against diseases with poor treatment options. Further details of the financing round were not disclosed.
A team of researchers led by Nobel laureate Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. mult. Harald zur Hausen has discovered a new type of infectious agent in dairy and meat products produced from European cattle that increases the risk for colon and breast cancer. These so-called Bovine Meat and Milk Factors (BMMFs) are small DNA molecules that are similar in sequence to both bacterial plasmids and certain viruses.
Spindiag, a young medtech company in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, announced today the expanded financing of its first Series A. Based on a proprietary microfluidic technology first researched at the company’s mother institute Hahn-Schickard, Spindiag is developing a sustainable platform to diagnose infections and, as a first product, a rapid test for multidrug-resistant bacteria. Spindiag intends to use the available 4 million euros to execute its market entry in Europe in 2020.
"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. Dr. Gisela Schneider, Director of the German Institute for Medical Mission e. V. (Difäm), was interviewed by Sarah Triller from BIOPRO and explained why NTDs affect mainly the poorest people in the world, and the burden of diseases these people suffer from.
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.
Personalized medicine, medical technology, digital health and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing diagnostics and product development. Analyses are becoming faster and more precise, and data volumes can now be networked and used effectively. The goal of improving people's quality of life is within reach, and this will also strengthen Germany’s future viability. However, not every good idea can be turned into a marketable commodity. How can this be changed?
The pilot project NeCTra (Networking - Care - Transparency) investigates how care processes within an urban social environment can be improved by using digital technologies. The goal is to bring together all partners and institutions in real time so that people in need of care and those seeking advice receive appropriate support more quickly.
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.
More than one billion people worldwide suffer from neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). NTDs are mostly poverty-related infectious diseases that prevail in tropical countries due to lack of research and measures to detect, prevent and control them. Dr. Dr. Carsten Köhler reports on the political, economic and scientific contributions Germany and Baden-Württemberg can make to successfully change this situation.
A spin-off from the Ulm University of Applied Sciences is aiming to provide people whose hands have been paralysed due to accident or illness with a new kind of orthopaedic aid. Dominik Hepp and Tobias Knobloch are currently starting serial production of a hand orthosis prototype. The two medical engineers from Ulm, who founded HKK Bionics GmbH in 2017, plan to commence final tests in 2019 and hope to get the “exomotion® hand one” orthosis approved for human application, thus closing a gap in the market.
Artificial intelligence is no longer a vision of the future, but is already in our midst: whether it is parking aids or search engines, we use the technology quite naturally in many areas of daily life. It is also increasingly used in medicine and the life sciences. It promises new, unlimited opportunities, but also poses risks. Experts from the Integrata Foundation in Tübingen work on ethical issues and the human use of IT for improving the life of as many people as possible.
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. If necessary, therapy can subsequently be adapted to an even greater extent. The study aims to improve control rates in advanced metastatic breast cancer, delay disease progression and reduce the risk of side effects.
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. But what are EHRs and what makes them different from the personal health records (PHRs; German: elektronische Gesundheitsakte, eGA) that various companies have already placed on the market?
Almost all humans are infected with Epstein-Barr viruses (EBV), which are linked to the development of benign diseases such as infectious mononucleosis as well as several cancers. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have developed a new strategy for creating a vaccine that targets different EBV virus life phases and has the potential to provide effective protection against EBV infection.
Brain-computer interfaces are the latest developments in the neurotechnology field. They are used to record brain activity, which is then decoded with artificial intelligence techniques and converted into control signals for robots or computers. While this brings hope to severely paralysed people, it also implies risks due to the interest of companies like Google and Facebook in this type of data. Both these aspects are being investigated in the BrainLinks-BrainTools cluster of excellence at the University of Freiburg.