Press releases

  • DNA, RNA and peptides as storage media – as well as for biological applications / 2024

    BIOSYNTH – “Modular high-throughput micro-platform for mass data storage of the future from synthetic biology”

    Press Release  / July 03, 2024

    The BIOSYNTH project is funded by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and aims to develop a new microchip platform that enables efficient and digitally controllable cell-free biosynthesis. The Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS leads the consortium and collaborates with the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM and the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, part of Bioanalytics and Bioprocesses IZI-BB, on technologies that can be used in the future for mass data storage with very high storage density or in pollutant screening in human toxicology.

    more info
  • Fraunhofer IWS and Fraunhofer ITEM develop Microphysiological Systems for Cultivation of Tumor Tissue Sections in Joint Effort / 2024

    New Opportunity for Cancer Therapy: Miniature Lab Provides Insights into Metastases Development

    Press Release / April 16, 2024

    Every year, around half a million people in Germany are diagnosed with cancer. Despite the existence of effective treatment options for many types of cancer, many questions about the development of the disease remain unanswered. Why does a tumor develop? What factors promote the growth of cancer cells? Why do metastases spread to other organs over time? The animal models mainly in use to date only represent the actual processes in the human body to a limited extent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden has developed special microsystems in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM in Hanover and the University of Regensburg. They are now using them to examine tissue sections of tumors under realistic conditions.

    more info
  • 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.

    more info
  • 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.

    more info
  • 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.

    more info
  • 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.

    more info
  • 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.

    more info
  • 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.

    more info
  • 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.

    more info