Open innovation between research and industry

Empa and CSL Vifor host international workshop on nano-biointerfaces

Dec 14, 2023 | MICHAEL HAGMANN
In late November, researchers from Switzerland and abroad convened at Empa with experts from the pharmaceutical company CSL Vifor for a joint workshop on nanomedicines. The aim of this scientific exchange, which has been taking place for several years, is to describe clinically relevant material properties and to understand the biomedical modes of action of new therapeutics.
Nanomaterials (pink) can be taken up by human cells (nucleus in blue, cytosol in brown). Image: Empa
At the end of November, Empa researcher Peter Wick and Beat Flühmann from CSL Vifor AG invited complementary research groups from Switzerland and abroad to a two-day workshop at Empa in St. Gallen. At the workshop, various working groups addressed different issues, from the characterization of nanomedicines to the biomedical mechanisms, by which the human body interacts with these materials. The gained knowledge will serve as a basis to better understand the critical quality attributes as well as for the development of new nanomedicines. "The symposium character covers all central aspects and focuses on current scientific challenges," says Empa researcher Wick. For the researchers, this is a unique opportunity to discuss scientific findings with industry representatives on a broad and interdisciplinary basis and to develop new working hypotheses on mechanisms of action and interactions.
From a first joint project to a long-term partnership
The workshop series goes back to the long-standing collaboration between Empa and CSL Vifor. This began a few years ago with the first joint research project on nanomedicines for intravenous iron treatment and has since encompassed countless projects with various research partners. "Bringing together different complementary research groups in a stimulating, open atmosphere has proven to be a successful model for everyone involved and has allowed us to clarify open questions in the area of the interaction of nanomedicines with the human body," says Beat Flühmann from CSL Vifor. "An institution like Empa, with its broad interdisciplinary expertise, is an extremely valuable partner for us in this endeavor."
Participants of the Open Innovation workshop on nanomedicines at Empa in St. Gallen, organized by Empa researcher Peter Wick (far left) and Beat Flühmann, CSL Vifor (6th person from left). Image: Empa
Further information

Prof. Dr. Peter Wick
Empa, Particles-Biology Interactions
Phone +41 58 765 76 84

Beat Flühmann
CSL Vifor AG, Lead Nanomedicine
Phone +41 79 662 42 76

Editor / Media Contact
Dr. Michael Hagmann
Empa, Communications
Phone +41 58 765 45 92

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