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University of Salzburg. (10/21/13). "Press Release: On the Test Bench. Protein-based Drugs". Salzburg.

Region Region Salzburg
  Country Austria
Organisations Organisation Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO)
  Group Thermo Fisher (Group)
  Organisation 2 Christian Doppler Laboratory for Biosimilar Characterization (at Unviersity of Salzburg)
  Group University of Salzburg
Products Product mass spectrometry-based analysis of biopharmaceutical
  Product 2 DRUGS, BIOGEN, GENERICS (biosimilars / biogenerics)
Persons Person Huber, Christian (Univ Salzburg 201310 Professor + Head of CD Lab for Biosimilar Characterization)
  Person 2 Guiller, Alain (Thermo Fisher 201310 VP Global Sales Life Sciences Mass Spectrometry LC-MS)

The University of Salzburg opens its next Christian Doppler Laboratory: a research collaboration between science and economy. The characterization of biosimilars as protein-based drugs is supposed to guarantee their efficiency and to minimize side effects of treatment. The Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth provides the most significant contribution of public funding.

Biosimilars are proteins used as drug compounds that are produced by living cells such as bacteria, yeasts, or mammalian cells by application of biotechnology. In contrast to classical chemical drugs, such as Aspirin® or Penicillin, therapeutic proteins represent very complex, high-molecular compounds which must be thoroughly checked with regard to their quality, efficacy, and safety before their application in modern medication. "The more physical, chemical, and biological data we can collect for the produced drugs, the higher is the certainty that only desired effects and no adverse effects occur during the therapy." explains Prof. Christian Huber, head of the CD Laboratory for Biosimilar Characterization. Upon joining the expertise in protein production and characterization, structural biology and synthetic chemistry existing at the University of Salzburg, this research project aims at developing innovative characterization tools for the efficacy and safety of therapeutic proteins and their transfer to the industry.

The Ministry of Economy supports application-oriented fundamental research

The Austrian Minister of Economy Dr. Reinhold Mitterlehner emphasizes the importance of the program "CD Laboratories are more important than ever in the international competition for ideas, because they render new knowledge marketable and hence exploitable for companies. This will safeguard jobs in Austria as a location for business", MR. Dr. Ulrike Unterer, Vice President of the Christian Doppler Society and head of the Department of Technical and Economic Research in the Ministry of Economy, underlines the excellent collaboration with the university and the County of Salzburg: "The University of Salzburg hosts CD Laboratories working in many different areas including mathematics, medicine, or biotechnology, which will be once more be well represented in this new laboratory. This thematic diversity is also supported by the County of Salzburg, contributing additional 5 % of the total laboratory budget. This support is gratefully acknowledged".

Governor Wilfried Haslauer: the CD Laboratory approves Salzburg as a successful business location

"The implementation of this Laboratory at the University of Salzburg is a clear indicator for the competitiveness of the location. The competences established in Salzburg in this area are further strengthened and will also become more visible across the borders of Salzburg. Overall, the opening of the sixth Christian Doppler Laboratory within the past 10 years constitutes a real success story for the County of Salzburg", said Dr. Wilfried Haslauer, Governor of the County of Salzburg. The governor considers such cooperations as "a clear sign of innovation and scientific and economic success that is incorporated in the research program defined in the CD laboratory." The County of Salzburg supports Christian Doppler Laboratories based in Salzburg by granting additional funding.

Rector Heinrich Schmidinger: increase in third-party funding

"The implementation now of the sixth Christian Doppler Laboratory at the University of Salzburg represents an additional and important step towards performing top-level scientific research at the University of Salzburg.", states Heinrich Schmidinger, Rector of the University of Salzburg. To an increasing extent, Universities have to rely on third-party funding to fulfill their duties in research. During the past decade, the University was highly successful in increasing its income from third party funding. According to Schmidinger, € 21.5 Mio. of a total budget of € 150 Mio. were secured from third parties in 2012. Most of the funding comes, inter alia, from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the European Union (EU), or the Christian Doppler Society, which is supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economy, family, and Youth.

Cooperation with the industry

Fundamental research in the CD Laboratory is performed in cooperation with Sandoz, the biggest pharmaceutical company in Austria with prominent sites in Kundl and Schaftenau, as well as Thermo Fisher Scientific, based in Massachusetts, USA, one of the largest global suppliers of laboratory equipment and scientific instruments. "For us, the collaboration with academic partners constitutes an important means to gain access to the very recent technologies for industrial application in order to make our production safer and more efficient.", says Dr. Andreas Premstaller, head of the Schaftenau production site of Sandoz.

"As the leader in protein characterization technology, we are confident that we will make a significant technical contribution to the research efforts for the detailed characterization of biosimilars and their quality control," observes Dr. Alain Guiller, vice-president global sales of Life Science Mass Spectrometry at Thermo Fisher Scientific. "This is a rapidly-developing field, and our close cooperation with the research being conducted by the University of Salzburg and Sandoz will increase our understanding and help us to quickly serve the emerging needs of the pharmaceutical industry."

About Christian Doppler Laboratories

Christian Doppler Laboratories are installed to perform application-oriented fundamental research. Therefore, excellent scientists cooperate with innovative companies. The Christian Doppler Society serves as best-practice-example to support this collaboration. Christian Doppler Laboratories are co-financed by public funding and the companies involved. The program is managed and publicly funded by the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth (BMWFJ).

Contakt: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christian Huber, Fachbereich Molekulare Biologie, Tel: 0662-8044-5738, e-mail: c.huber(at)

Mag. Gabriele Pfeifer
Universität Salzburg
Kapitelgasse 4-6
Tel: 0662-8044-2435

Record changed: 2016-03-19


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