BioDevCenter - new competence center

Innovative biologicals are among the drivers of the healthcare industry. As novel theranostics, they are increasingly used in therapy and diagnostics, but they can also be used to coat surfaces. The aim of the Biologicals Development Center is to establish and operate a regional competence center for the development of biotechnologically produced proteins (so-called biologicals) for personalized medicine. The Biologicals Development Center, or BioDevCenter for short, thus offers an absolute locational advantage for companies and start-ups in the Reutlingen, Tübingen and Zollernalb region.

The NMI receives additional funding from the state of Baden-Württemberg and the EU to establish the BioDevCenter for the upcoming research. Today's handover is the official starting signal for the lighthouse project "Biologicals Development Center". The lighthouse project is the seventh project from the RegioWIN 2030 competition to be approved by the Ministry of Economics. "I am convinced that the establishment and operation of the Biologicals Development Center in Reutlingen and Tübingen will sustainably strengthen Baden-Württemberg's healthcare industry," said Minister Hoffmeister-Kraut. She continued, "This is more important than ever, especially in view of the global competition between locations."

"With the BioDevCenter, regionally based, young start-ups and SMEs working on the development of new biologicals for the healthcare industry in particular, as well as application-oriented research groups from the universities/universities in the Neckar-Alb region and large pharmaceutical companies are addressed. They can all move more quickly into implementation through the complementary development services at the Biologicals Development Center and benefit from a shorter "time-to-market," according to Dr. Wolfgang Epp, chief executive officer of the Reutlingen Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The RegioWIN lighthouse project benefits from its interdisciplinary team consisting of scientists from the NMI in Reutlingen, the Werner Siemens Imaging Center (WSIC) at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and the University Hospital Tübingen. According to Prof. Dr. Bernd Pichler, Director of the WSIC and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, the interdisciplinary research and infrastructure is an excellent basis for the translation of research results into clinical practice and for the rapid development of drugs and diagnostics of the future.

The director of the NMI, Prof. Dr. Katja Schenke-Layland, is pleased that things can finally get underway. The NMI had already had the idea of setting up a structure like the Biologicals Development Center for several years, but lacked the financial resources to implement such a big idea. It was not until the RegioWIN competition was announced that the NMI saw an opportunity for realization. After the end of the project, the project initially funded by this competition is to be transformed into a permanent and sustainable infrastructure of the NMI.

"Biotechnologically produced drugs, so-called biologicals, are the drugs of the future. They are among the drivers of the healthcare industry. Double-digit growth rates in the European pharmaceutical market speak for themselves. The great demand for them lies above all in their broad application. They are used as novel theranostics in both therapy and diagnostics. At the same time, they can be used in many other areas, for example, to coat surfaces or to develop optimized antibody formats or vaccines. With the Biologicals Development Center lighthouse project, we are addressing this growth market and innovative topics in the healthcare industry," says Katja Schenke-Layland.

The Biologicals Development Centers creates the opportunity for the conception, production, functionalization and testing of biologicals on site. This is intended to provide regional players in particular with low-threshold access to a competence center for biologicals. Here they can test promising development approaches and implement them effectively and efficiently. This approach is perfectly tailored to the Neckar Alb region, which is already characterized by very strong university-based biomedical research and an important healthcare industry, with a focus on personalized medicine, vaccine development, diagnostics and medical technology.

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