Connect with us

News

Biotechs
The winners of Advance Biotech Grant program

Published

on


News, Pharmaceuticals

Merck, a science and technology company, announced the winners of its Advance Biotech Grant program in North America during its Biotech Start-up Summit at the Cambridge Innovation Center (Massachusetts, U.S.). The grant is given to small- and mid-size biotechnology companies that need funding and expertise to get their therapies to market.

“With more than 60 percent of drugs in the pipeline today being developed by biotechs, we are committed to supporting these start-ups in developing groundbreaking therapeutics. Our global grant program provides free access to our process development expertise, products and services to help accelerate molecule-to-market efforts.”

Udit Batra, member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science

The three grant recipients are:

  • RAFT Pharmaceuticals (San Diego, California, U.S.), for its approach to treat chronic pain using a biologic to selectively inhibit neuroinflammation without affecting normal motor or sensory function.
  • Rubicon Biotechnology (Anaheim, California, U.S.), for developing a therapeutic protein, Fv-Hsp72, designed to protect and salvage cells damaged from an acute event, such as traumatic brain injury.
  • TechnoVax Inc (Elmsford, New York, U.S.), for developing a virus-like particle platform that facilitates the development and production of a range of vaccines targeting the prevention of respiratory diseases, hemorrhagic fevers, immunodeficiency and cancers.

Applicants from biotech companies across U.S. and Canada were asked to describe their projects, the medical needs they solve and process development challenges they face to be considered for the grant. In support of the growing biotech ecosystem, grant recipients receive between $40,000 and $100,000 in Merck products and process development support.

“Rubicon is honored to have been selected as a winner in the Advance Biotech Grant,” said Richard Richieri, president of Rubicon Biotechnology. “Under the resources provided by this grant, we intend to develop a robust and scalable downstream process to purify our pre-clinical recombinant protein, Fv-Hsp72, by utilizing the various chromatography resins and filters offered by Merck. Our objective is to use a bench-scale version of our process from bioreactor to drug substance for our in vitro and in vivo studies that will mimic our subsequent large- scale GMP process.”

The firm selected the winning submissions based on the scientific and societal merit of therapy in development and process challenges and expertise gaps. The program is part of the company’s global biotech commitment to help bring therapies to market, leveraging decades of process development expertise products, and support at any production scale. Additionally, Merck’s BioReliance End-to-End Services can address key challenges for biotech companies at all stages of molecule development and commercialization in any geography.

The company began the grant program in 2014. The rotating program runs every six months, in Europe, North America or Asia. To date, Merck has awarded more than €800,000 in products and services to 20 biotech companies in these regions. Earlier this year, our grants supported companies in Europe in tackling glioblastoma brain tumors and cardiovascular disease. Biotech companies in Asia with a molecule in development should apply before August 15, 2019 for the next round of grant funding.

News

Fast and competent repair centers
Flender and Wikov announce service cooperation

Published

on

Flender, Bocholt and Wikov Industry a.s., Prague announce a comprehensive service cooperation for gear units from other manufacturers. Both companies look forward to this long-term and sustainable partnership. Plant operators will benefit from Flender’s and Wikov’s comprehensive service portfolio, now also available for gear units from other manufacturers. The key objective is to provide customers a one-stop-service, globally.

Plant availability is the key driver of economic success across many industries. Frequently, components from multiple manufacturers are deployed in a single application, which increases complexity of maintenance for operators. Flender’s and Wikov’s cooperation will enable their customers to benefit from a one-stop-service. Both companies are leading gear unit specialists, and well known for their comprehensive and competent service portfolio.

By combining resources, their customers will benefit from Flender’s service network with more than 50 repair centers globally. Short distances between a customer’s plant and a service center are a cornerstone of the business model, which ensures flexible and fast execution combined with Flender’s proven highest quality.

“Our global set-up enables us to serve customers fast, and exactly according to their needs. This is key to further increase our customers’ plant availability.” says Nevzat Oezcan, General Manager Flender Customer Service.

Wikov has extensive and long-lasting experience regarding spare parts for gear units from other manufacturers, and hence can provide these with highest quality in short time. “Our engineering know-how enables us to offer customers our comprehensive service portfolio for all gear units, irrespective of the manufacturer.” states Antonín Růžička, Managing Director of Wikov.

Customers across the globe now can rely on a single service partner for all gear units, due to the combination of customer proximity, highest quality and availability of spare parts, and the long-lasting service experience from Flender and Wikov. In addition, both companies will continue to offer their service portfolio for their original products.

Continue Reading

News

Award for Young European Investigators
This year’s research prize goes to Austria

Published

on

In 2019, the Hamburg life science company is presenting its highly prestigious research prize for the 24th time. The independent Eppendorf Award Jury chaired by Prof. Reinhard Jahn selected Dr. Georg Winter, Principal Investigator at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria, as the 2019 winner of the Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators.

The Award ceremony took place at the EMBL Advanced Training Centre in Heidelberg, Germany, on June 27, 2019. The laudatio honoring Georg Winter’s achievements was held by Award Jury Chairman Prof. Reinhard Jahn of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen.

Georg Winter, born 1985, receives the € 20,000 prize for his pioneering work developing a method for targeting specific proteins for degradation using heterobifunctional chemical compounds to specifically recruit ubiquitin E3 ligases to the intended protein target for destruction.

The Jury: “This powerful system enables targeting of previously undruggable targets and shows promise both in cells and in vivo in model systems as an emerging therapy.” Georg Winter’s work has led to a fury of excitement across pharmaceutical companies and has resulted in several patents; it holds promise to yield novel therapies for cancer and other diseases of unmet need.

“I felt incredibly honored and humbled when I learned that I will be awarded with the 2019 Eppendorf Award. This price recognizes our work in innovating a generalizable solution to targeted protein degradation in vivo. We are pursuing this new therapeutic paradigm towards our ultimate goal of degrading disease-relevant proteins that are thus far deemed ‘undruggable’. My contribution to this exciting field would not have been possible without groundbreaking work from esteemed peers, the amazing support from mentors, and close and fruitful collaborations with colleagues in the lab.”

Georg Winter, Principal Investigator at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences

With the Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators, which was established in 1995, Eppendorf AG honors outstanding work in biomedical research and supports young scientists in Europe up to the age of 35. The Eppendorf Award is presented in partnership with the scientific journal Nature. The Award winner is selected by an independent committee composed of Prof. Reinhard Jahn (Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany), Prof. Dieter Häussinger (Clinic for Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectiology, Düsseldorf, Germany), Prof. Maria Leptin (EMBO, Heidelberg, Germany), Prof. Martin J. Lohse (Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin, Germany), and Prof. Laura Machesky (Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, Glasgow, UK).

Continue Reading

News Pumps & Compressors

100 years of Kaeser Kompressoren
A tradition of innovation

Published

on

Kaeser Kompressoren A tradition of innovation
Picture: Kaeser Kompressoren

The history of the Coburg compressed air specialist, Kaeser Kompressoren truly is a remarkable story. Although many a company celebrates its centenary, they cannot all boast such sustained and continuously positive development. A look behind the scenes.

Kaeser is active all over the world in its centenary year, 2019. However, the general public rarely comes face to face with the compressed air specialist’s products. Only the portable compressors catch the eye with their black and yellow livery and attractive design, when used for road construction work. Compressed air stations tend to be hidden away in outbuildings. Yet Kaeser compressors are just as likely to be found in power stations in Australia as in Peruvian gold mines, used by aerospace engineers in the US, fish farms in Norway, car manufacturers in Germany, at the Cern particle accelerator in Switzerland, on ski pistes in Austria, on Arabian oil fields or the weaving mills in Asia. Compressed air is just as vital as electricity. No company with an industrial production line can get by without compressed air. Today, Kaeser has a global presence. Its customers range in size from craftsman’s establishments to large-scale industry.

It all began in a small workshop in Coburg’s Hahnweg. The old buildings are still standing in which Carl Kaeser senior started producing spare parts and engines for cars, along with gear wheels and special machines for the glass industry, with a team of eight employees and two apprentices in June 1919. Business was booming. Within a few years, the company was to employ a 150-strong workforce. After World War II, virtually the entire customer base fell by the wayside as most were located in Thuringia and Saxony – and thus on the other side of the border. Taking advantage of the available automotive expertise, production was adapted without further ado to similar products: reciprocating compressors. Thus began Kaeser’s successful focus on compressed air. In 1948, the first reciprocating compressor rolled off the Hahnweg production line as the company continued to evolve.

Further challenges emerged during the mid-1960s. In retrospect, it may perhaps be described as the first technological shift. Screw compressors came onto the market. Once again, Kaeser spearheaded the change with its very own invention: Sigma Profile was born. Developed in-house, it is a rotary screw airend with a special energy-efficient rotor profile that was groundbreaking at the time. Since then, Sigma Profile has been the centrepiece of every Kaeser rotary screw compressor; needless to say, it is also refined on an ongoing basis. Screw rotors are interconnected spirals with helical lobes.

This innovative spirit pervades the company to this day, resulting in a steady stream of innovations in compressed air technology and applying equally to hardware, software and services. From the refrigeration dryer to revolutionary controllers (Sigma Air Manager 4.0), from the portable compressor to completely new business models, where the customer basically only purchases the compressed air, through to digitalisation and Industrie 4.0, Kaeser still blazes a trail in the industry for the cost-effective, reliable, efficient generation and use of compressed air, thanks to its innovative, top-quality products and services. Most production facilities are located in Germany, with sales and service available in every corner of the globe.

The company’s early international expansion was a vital aspect of its growth. The first branch opened in Switzerland in 1978, with Austria and France following hot on its heels. Today, Kaeser has more than 50 own subsidiaries and is represented by exclusive contract partners in over 100 countries. Kaeser Kompressoren employs in excess of 6000 staff worldwide, many of whom have been loyal for decades.

How was this achieved? The company’s secret recipe is an unwavering passion for innovation, sound engineering expertise, close customer contact and an awareness of their needs, combined with exceptional quality standards, a good dose of common sense and the main ingredients: excellent teams and strong family ties. However, family does not just refer to the owner family, Thomas Kaeser and Tina-Maria Vlantoussi-Kaeser, now the third generation to manage the company, while the fourth has also just come on board, in the form of their son Alexander Jan Kaeser. All staff are considered family at Kaeser. This is evident in the high apprenticeship rate, well above average, and the extremely long service record of the employees, usually more than 30 years. But it is also reflected in the company’s business development: for 100 years without fail, the operating result has been positive. Even in 2009, the year of the global crisis. From Anchorage to Auckland, Coburg or Kauai, Kaeser is a family-owned company with strong ties to Germany; it views the entire world as its home turf and offers ‘Made in Germany’ quality from start to finish. The next innovative chapter is just waiting to be written.

Continue Reading