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Fraunhofer IME integrates the European ScreeningPort to promote collaborations in Africa

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Brussels/Aachen, July 9, 2014: The Board of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has confirmed the integration of European ScreeningPort GmbH (ESP) into the Fraunhofer Institute of Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (Fraunhofer IME) to create the “Fraunhofer IME-ScreeningPort”.

The ESP and its shareholders (Evotec AG and the City of Hamburg) fully support this integration and the IME-ScreeningPort will continue to work on its broad portfolio of drug discovery projects, now under the Fraunhofer umbrella. The integration also represents a very important boost for current and future collaborations between Fraunhofer IME and its network of partners in Africa.

The Fraunhofer IME-ScreeningPort will use a range of collaborative models to provide access to its comprehensive drug discovery infrastructure for partners in Africa. One major strategy is to validate drug targets from African partners for therapeutic applications, using IME-ScreeningPort expertise and state-of-the-art infrastructure. From these programs, identified hits would be developed as tool compounds and promising examples will advance through the drug discovery and development process.

The Fraunhofer IME is already leading a number of research projects and engaging with a network of partners in Africa, in projects tackling malaria, HIV, rabies and tuberculosis. Most recently, Fraunhofer IME initiated a private public partnership with Sanofi, a multinational pharmaceutical company, to identify new small-molecule drugs against infectious diseases.

In May 2014, Fraunhofer IME representatives visited Addis Ababa to expand their existing engagements with African partners, to explore opportunities to collaborate with African scientists and clinicians, and to strengthen cooperation between the EU and Africa on scientific and technological research and development.

The IME-ScreeningPort has access to automated screening infrastructure, small-molecule libraries, assay development facilities and facilities for hit-to-candidate progression. It has a proven track record advancing projects along the drug discovery value chain, particularly focussing on target validation and the assessment of drugability, and excels within international consortia and generates value within partnership models. The IME-ScreeningPort also organises industry-standard international training workshops and promotes a visiting scientist scheme.

Together, the integration of the European ScreeningPort and the development of joint projects between Fraunhofer IME and African partners show that Fraunhofer is committed to strong and lasting collaborations with Africa in the future.

 

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Declan Kirrane

ISC Intelligence in Science

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Jessica Hadjis

ISC Intelligence in Science

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Editor’s Note

 

Fraunhofer IME

The Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (Fraunhofer IME) conducts research in the field of applied life sciences from a molecular level to entire ecosystems. Our interdisciplinary organisation features laboratories with the most recent equipment, including GMP production facilities and complex facilities for environmental simulations. This facilitates a wide spectrum of research and development services in the divisions of Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology.

Further information: http://www.ime.fraunhofer.de/en.html

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