Press releases

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  • Researchers from Fraunhofer ITEM are contributing to toxicological studies on novel nanoparticle-based formulations within an EU project. / 2024

    EU project REGENERAR: 3 million euros allocated for research into the development of innovative technologies for brain regeneration

    News / March 22, 2024

    With the aim of developing a new technology for brain regeneration, the EU project REGENERAR kicks off on March 22, 2024. Fraunhofer ITEM is one of seven research partners, led by the University of Coimbra, seeking to create better therapies for patients with neurodegenerative diseases or stroke using this technology.

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  • RNAi therapy for viral respiratory diseases / 2024

    The virus hackers

    Press Releases / Research News / February 01, 2024

    A research team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM and the Hannover Medical School (MHH) have made significant progress in developing a new antiviral therapy. The drug, which is inhaled, uses RNAi to target and deactivate parainfluenza viruses before they multiply.

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  • Scientific studies on the reliability and relevance of new approach methodologies (NAMs) as alternatives to animal studies / 2024

    Research on alternatives to animal studies on behalf of European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

    News / January 26, 2024

    The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has contracted a consortium led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM, coordinated together with Michabo Health Science and BASF Metabolome Solutions, to conduct scientific studies on the reliability and relevance of new approach methodologies (NAMs) as alternatives to animal studies and to promote the use of such methods in the future. The aim of the contract is to get additional NAMs accepted by regulatory authorities, focusing on OMICS technologies and toxicokinetics, and therewith further reduce the number of animal studies conducted as part of safety assessments for chemical substances. The contract will run for six years for a total value of 4.2 million euros in ECHA funding. Other partners include the department for experimental toxicology and ecology at BASF, the University of Birmingham, and the biotech companies BioClavis, and Novogene Europe.

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  • After three years in his post, Professor Thomas Thum has left the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM and has stepped down from his joint institute management role at his own request. Instead, he will now be refocusing his attention on his positions as director of the Institute of Molecular and Translational Therapeutic Strategies at the Hannover Medical School (MHH) and as managing director of MHH spin-off Cardior Pharmaceuticals GmbH.

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  • As a finalist in the third round of the SPRIND Challenge “Broad-Spectrum Antivirals”, the iGUARD research project receives follow-up funding. / 2023

    2.5 million euros for rapid therapies against viral diseases

    News / November 21, 2023

    There are still no effective drugs for most viral diseases. Antiviral therapies are therefore urgently and quickly needed. However, the development of therapeutics can take decades. In the iGUARD (integrated Guided Ultrafast Antiviral RNAi Drug Development) project, a team of researchers from Fraunhofer ITEM and Hannover Medical School (MHH) has set itself the goal of developing customized therapies as quickly as possible. The iGUARD project has already been funded twice by the Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation as part of the SPRIND Challenge “Broad-Spectrum Antivirals” and, as a finalist in the third and final round of the innovation competition, will now receive a follow-up funding up to 2.5 million euros for the further development of new antiviral agents.

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  • Environmental risk assessment (ERA) for approving veterinary and human medical products / 2023

    Why does the environmental risk assessment for drugs need to be updated?

    News / September 19, 2023

    Fraunhofer ITEM is actively supporting the regulatory development of environmental risk assessments for drugs. The aim of an ERA is to ensure that the drug manufacturer understands the possible environmental risks and takes appropriate steps to minimize these risks.

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  • Environmental assessment of chemicals / 2023

    Final report published: Review of the OECD Test Guidelines

    News / June 12, 2023

    The OECD Test Guidelines are an important tool for assessing the impact of chemicals on the environment. Updating of the Test Guidelines is organized by the Working Group of National Coordinators for the OECD Test Guidelines Programme (WNT) and the OECD Secretariat. The process is based on proposals from OECD member countries and does not include a regular update review. The Federal Environment Agency commissioned Fraunhofer IME, Fraunhofer ITEM and Ramboll to identify and prioritize a possible need for updating and to prepare a list of possible measures.

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  • Medical engineering / 2023

    Bioresorbable membrane for healing internal and external wounds

    Press Release  / February 01, 2023

    Fraunhofer researchers have succeeded in using the bioresorbable silica gel Renacer® to produce an electrospun membrane that is neither cytotoxic nor genotoxic. This model mimics fibrous structures found in connective tissue and is therefore particularly suitable for regenerative applications, such as for improved wound healing.

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  • Precise therapeutics testing — preventing animal testing / 2022

    Designer immune cells for drug discovery, potency and safety testing

    Press Release  / December 01, 2022

    To prevent testing on animals and create even more precise ways of testing therapeutics, the pharmaceutical industry is increasingly turning to human immune cells. However, the availability of cells like these has been limited to date. Now, Fraunhofer researchers have succeeded in scaling the production of customized immune cells from laboratory up to industrial level.

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  • Research project iGUARD receives follow-up funding for the development of RNA-based drugs / 2022

    1.5 million euros for rapid therapies against viral diseases

    News / November 03, 2022

    Despite successful vaccine development, there are still no effective drugs for most viral diseases. This should change as soon as possible. With the project iGUARD (integrated Guided Ultrafast Antiviral RNAi Drug development) a research team of Prof. Armin Braun, Fraunhofer ITEM, and Prof. Axel Schambach, Hannover Medical School (MHH), is developing RNA-based drugs to combat viral diseases using a natural mechanism of our body. The drugs should be able to adapt particularly quickly to different viruses and thus provide protection against emerging infectious diseases. The project has been supported by the Federal Agency for Leap Innovations (SPRIND) for one year and is now receiving follow-up funding of 1.5 million euros for another year.

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