Press releases

  • On January 1, 2021, Prof. Thomas Thum joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM in Hannover as new institute director. He will henceforth manage the institute together with Prof. Norbert Krug, who has been director of Fraunhofer ITEM for the past four years. In addition, Prof. Thum has accepted the call to a full professorship in “Translational validation of innovative therapeutics” at the nearby Hannover Medical School (MHH), a position that is linked to the Fraunhofer Institute directorship.

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  • Toxicological risk assessment for chemicals / 2021

    Avoiding animal experimentation

    Research News / January 04, 2021

    It is still the case that data from animal studies is required in order to evaluate the safety of a substance for humans. However, the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM has teamed up with 39 partners from 13 countries on a range of projects, all of which have a common aim: to bring about a paradigm shift – away from animal experimentation and towards a deeper understanding of how chemical substances work.

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  • To help control the current SARS-coronavirus-2 pandemic and brace for novel pathogens that may cause future pandemics, Fraunhofer researchers have initiated the project BEAT-COVID to develop independent novel therapy strategies and build up platform technologies that will enable rapid and targeted development of new drugs against as yet unknown pathogens that may emerge.

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  • Researchers of the University Hospital Regensburg and of Fraunhofer ITEM have published new findings on the mechanism of metastatic spread in "Nature Communications". A team of researchers headed by Professor Christoph Klein at the University of Regensburg and at Fraunhofer has demonstrated that disseminated cancer cells can acquire stem cell-like properties by interpreting signals from the bone marrow environment, enabling them to form metastases.

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  • German federal government is funding the collaborative project RENACO with 1.6 million euros / 2020

    Pancreas drug nafamostat an option for COVID-19 treatment?

    Press release / July 31, 2020

    Göttingen (Germany), July 31, 2020. In the face of the pandemic spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the worldwide increase in deaths due to this virus, there is an urgent need for effective drugs and vaccines. To speed up the process, existing drugs that have already been approved for treatment of other conditions are tested for their efficacy against the new coronavirus. Scientists of the German Primate Center (DPZ) – Leibniz Institute for Primate Research in Göttingen (Germany) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM in Hannover (Germany) are now receiving 1.6 million euros from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for a collaborative project investigating the efficacy of nafamostat.

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  • Antibodies open a treatment option for patients who are already infected with SARS-CoV-2. The Braunschweig-based Division of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology of the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM, in collaboration with Corat Therapeutics GmbH, will begin production of a specific SARS-CoV-2 antibody that is expected to enter clinical trials as early as the beginning of 2021.

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  • New treatments in the fight against cancer / 2020

    Hunting down life-threatening metastases

    Research News / June 02, 2020

    What makes tumor cells turn murderous? The Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM is investigating the mechanisms of metastasis formation – and searching for approaches for new treatments in the fight against cancer. Among other things, the research team at Fraunhofer ITEM has developed a method that enables them to analyze entire lymph nodes.

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  • With its rapid spread around the world, the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has triggered a public health emergency of international concern. To date, there is neither a vaccine nor drugs for treating COVID-19 patients available. Researchers of the international consortium iCAIR® are working on the development of novel anti-infective agents to treat or prevent clinically significant diseases of the respiratory tract caused by viruses, fungi and bacteria – and they recently started a project aimed at developing medications to combat the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

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  • New agents to fight multidrug-resistant germs

    Research News / January 02, 2020

    Resistance to antibiotics is on the rise worldwide. Fraunhofer scientists have joined forces with partners in the Phage4Cure project to explore alternatives to antibiotics. One objective is to vanquish multidrug-resistant pathogens with viruses called bacteriophages. Another is to see these phages approved to treat the dreaded hospital germ Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the most frequent bacterial cause of pneumonia.

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