• A Step Ahead in Pharmaceutical Research

    Novel sensors make it possible to measure the activation or deactivation of GPCRs with high-throughput methods. Graphic: Hannes Schihada

    Researchers of the University of Würzburg have developed a method that makes it possible to measure the activation of receptors in a very short time. This might speed up the development of new drugs. Hormones and other neurotransmitters, but also drugs, act upon receptors. “Their active substances bind to the receptors and modify the three-dimensional receptor arrangement regulating the downstream signal pathways,” says Hannes Schihada from the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Würzburg (JMU). 

  • ACHEMA 2018 – Call for Papers for Congress and PRAXISforums

    ACHEMA 2018 - World Forum of the Process Industry

    Contributions to the congress program and PRAXISforums of ACHEMA 2018 can be submitted as of now. Scientists from industry and research institutions are invited to submit their papers until September 22, 2017 via internet ( About 800 presentations at ACHEMA from June 11-15, 2018 in Frankfurt / Germany will showcase results from application-oriented basic research through to applied research and development.

    The ACHEMA-Congress comprises the complete spectrum of chemical and process engineering as well as biotechnology themes. The topics range from analytics, energy supply, process design, reaction technology through to safety.


    Felix Krujatz erhält für seine Doktorarbeit auf dem Gebiet der Algenbiotechnologie den Nachwuchsförderpreis der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Kirsten Mann

    Wissenschaftler der TU Dresden gewinnt Nachwuchsförderpreis der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften / Algenbiotechnologie revolutioniert 3D-Bioprinting / weltweit erster 3D-gedruckter Bioreaktor mit OLEDS macht neue Untersuchungsmethoden möglich. Felix Krujatz, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter an der Fakultät Maschinenwesen der TU Dresden, erhält für seine Doktorarbeit „Entwicklung und Evaluierung neuer Bioreaktorkonzepte für phototrophe Mikroorganismen“ den Nachwuchsförderpreis der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig. Seine Forschungsergebnisse enthalten mehrere Weltneuheiten auf dem Gebiet der Biotechnologie und können u.a. das Bioprinting menschlicher Zellen für regenerative Therapien revolutionieren sowie eine neue Generation von Bioreaktoren hervorbringen. Der Preis wird am 09. Dezember um 16:00 Uhr in Leipzig öffentlich verliehen.

  • Cancer Detection with Sugar Molecules

    Like a spaceship, the complex sugar molecule (coloured) lands exactly on the tumor protein galectin-1, which here looks like a meteorite and is shown in black and white. Picture: Workgroup Seibel, VCH-Wiley

    Scientists from the University of Würzburg have synthesized a complex sugar molecule which specifically binds to the tumor protein Galectin-1. This could help to recognize tumors at an early stage and to combat them in a targeted manner. Galectins are a family of proteins that have become a promising source of cancer research in recent years. A representative thereof is galectin-1. It sits on the surface of all human cells; on tumor cells, however, it occurs in enormous quantities. This makes it an interesting target for diagnostics and therapy.

  • Chemists connect three components with new coupling reaction

    The new reaction, explained using plastic building bricks: In a single reaction, three (bottom) instead of two (top right) chemical components are linked via carbon-carbon bonds. Photo: WWU/Ludger Tebben

    In the current issue of the "Science" magazine, a team of chemists led by Prof. Armido Studer from the Institute of Organic Chemistry at Münster University present a new approach which enables three – and not, as previously, two – chemical components to be "coupled" in one single reaction without any transition metal.

    In the current issue of the "Science" magazine, chemists at Münster University present a new approach which for the first time enables three – and not, as previously, two – chemical components to be "coupled" in one single reaction, without any metals to aid the process. The researchers succeeded in producing not only pharmaceutically relevant compounds containing fluorine, but also various γ-lactones. These organic compounds occur widely in various types of fruit and also, for example, as flavouring substances in whisky and cognac.

  • Domino effect in pharmaceutical synthesis

    Domino effect in pharmaceutical synthesis. © Photo: Svetlana B. Tsogoeva, FAU

    Chemists at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) headed by Prof. Dr. Svetlana B. Tsogoeva at the Chair of Organic Chemistry have made research into pharmaceutical ingredient synthesis more efficient, more sustainable and more environmentally friendly. They have developed a novel synthetic route towards antiviral quinazoline heterocycles that have not been described previously in professional literature. The results of their work have recently been published in the renowned journal Nature Communications.

  • EU funds research on biofuels and infectious diseases

    Salmolla. © Goethe University Frankfurt.

    FRANKFURT. Two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants of the European Research Council to the amount of € 2.5 million each are going to researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt. Biochemist and physician Professor Ivan Dikic and microbiologist Professor Volker Müller are very honoured that their pioneering research projects have been selected for this substantial financial support.

    Volker Müller is one of the leading microbiologists worldwide in the field of microbial metabolism of microbes that grow in the absence of oxygen. His project centres on the production of biofuels with the help of bacteria that can use carbon dioxide as feedstock.

  • Molecules change shape when wet

    The preferred structure of a crown ether changes when water molecules bind to it (dashed lines). © C. Pérez et al.

    Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water. In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter at CFEL and from the Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI) show that water promotes the reshaping of crown ethers and biphenyl molecules, two classes of chemically fascinating molecules. Crown ethers are key systems in catalysis, separation and encapsulation processes, while biphenyl-based systems are employed in asymmetric synthesis and drug design.

  • Molekül-Motoren mit Licht-Antrieb

    Bahnbrechende Entwicklung: Zwei Nano-Maschinen (weiß) auf einer 8x8 Nanometer großen Kupferoberfläche (grau), aufgenommen bei -267° mit einem Rastertunnelmikroskop. In Gelb die Molekül-Modelle der Maschinen. Foto: Uni Graz/Grill

    ForscherInnen der Uni Graz steuern Nano-Maschinen auf Oberflächen. Ferngesteuerte Nano-Maschinen, angetrieben von einem Lichtstrahl, reinigen Oberflächen, bringen spezielle Pharmazeutika im Körper an ihren Zielort oder bauen elektronische Strukturen aus einzelnen Atomen. Dieser Zukunftsvision ist die Arbeitsgruppe von Univ.-Prof. Dr. Leonhard Grill vom Institut für Chemie der Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz einen großen Schritt nähergekommen: Dem Team ist es gelungen, einzelne molekulare Maschinen durch Laserlicht gezielt auf einer Oberfläche zu bewegen und währenddessen zu beobachten. Die Ergebnisse der Studie werden in der nächsten Ausgabe des Magazins „ACS Nano“ publiziert und sind online bereits veröffentlicht.

  • Monsanto takeover a “major challenge” for Bayer

    Bayer takes over Monsanto. © Nanobay

    Lars Schweizer, Professor for Strategic Management at Goethe University Frankfurt, calls the planned takeover of Monsanto by German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer a major challenge.

  • Multi-organ platform for risk assessment of nanomaterials - Fraunhofer IBMT in project HISENTS

    Logo HISENTS

    European scientists develop a multimodular microchip platform for predicting the behaviour of nanomaterials in the body. Nanomaterials are already part of everyday life in our modern society. New applications, along with continuously rising quantities being produced, have led to an increased exposure to nanomaterials for both people and the environment. Predicting the behaviour of nanomaterials in organisms and extensive risk assessments are currently difficult because we are missing prediction models.

  • Münster University Researchers Develop New Synthesis Method for Producing Fluorinated Piperidines

    Pressure vessel (autoclave) for the hydrogenation of fluorinated pyridines. The reactions are carried out at a hydrogen pressure of 50 bar. Frank Glorius

    A team of chemists at the University of Münster led by Prof. Frank Glorius have developed a new, simple synthetic method for producing fluorinated piperidines –which had previously been very difficult. These compounds play a major role in the development of new active ingredients. The results have just been published in the online edition of the journal “Nature Chemistry”.

  • New Method Speeds Up Development of Medication

    In the laboratory of Bernhard Spingler (r.), trainee Philipp Nievergelt (l.) made an important contribution to determine the crystal structures of organic salts faster and easier. UZH

    UZH researchers have developed a novel method that speeds up the process of determining crystal structures of organic salts and significantly reduces the effort required to do so. As about 40 percent of all active pharmaceutical ingredients are salts, this new crystallographic method is set to greatly accelerate drug development.

  • New Process for Marker-Free Cell Selection

    The OptisCell process is designed for fully automated operation and works without any markers or contact. © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    At this year’s analytica trade fair in Munich, three Fraunhofer Institutes will be presenting a project from pre-competitive research. Biologists, computer scientists and laser experts have developed a process to analyze and select cells and then examine their protein production. In pharmaceutical research, this will make it possible to develop active ingredients much faster than before.

  • New therapeutic strategy against sleeping sickness

    Structure of the interface of PEX14 and PEX5  (back) including the structure of the inhibitor (front). Source: Dr. Grzegorz Popowicz, Helmholtz Zentrum München

    A newly developed small molecule selectively kills the pathogen causing sleeping sickness and Chagas disease. Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, along with colleagues from the Technical University of Munich and the Ruhr University Bochum, report these findings in ‘Science’. The trick: The researchers could first determine the parasite's Achilles heel by using modern structural biology techniques and then develop an inhibitor with a perfect fit.

  • Perfecting the Climate for Pharmaceutical Microbes

    For production of pharmaceuticals cells are grown under defined and controlled conditions in large fermenters.

    A new gas analysis device measures the activity of bacteria or cells with much greater precision than was previously the case, thus making the biological production of pharmaceutical substances such as insulin more efficient. The new gas analysis device from Siemens makes the biological production of pharmaceutical products up to 30 percent more efficient. The device accomplishes this by ensuring ideal growth conditions at all times for the cells or bacteria that produce active ingredients. The better the microbes feel in reactors (known as fermenters), the more they produce. Moreover, the device helps to reduce the production of undesirable byproducts as well. The condition of the organisms can be determined by analyzing how much oxygen they convert into carbon dioxide within a certain amount of time. 

  • Pharmacoscpy: Next-Generation Microscopy

    Graphical abstract of the Pharmacoscopy method.  Vladimer Gregory/CeMM

    A novel microscopy method allows unprecedented insights into the spatial organization and direct interactions of immune cells within blood and other liquid multi-lineage tissues. The assay, called “Pharmacoscopy”, developed and patented by scientists from CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, is able to determine immunomodulatory properties of drugs within large libraries on immune cells in high resolution and high throughput. Introduced in Nature Chemical Biology, Pharmacoscopy enables new possibilities for drug discovery, particularly in cancer immunotherapy, personalized medicine, and the research on signaling pathways of the immune system.

  • RCPE and PSE announce pharma Centre of Excellence

    Massimo Bresciani. (c) Lichtmeister Photography Productions

    Combination of mechanistic modelling and experimentation boosts drug development and manufacturing.
    (Graz, March 9, 2017) Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH (RCPE), an independent R&D Centre specialised in Advanced Manufacturing Science and Pharmaceutical Engineering, and Process Systems Enterprise (PSE), the Advanced Process Modelling company, announced the formation of a Centre of Excellence (CoE) aimed at bringing combined model-based analytical technology and services to pharmaceuticals manufacturers.

  • Ready for new turbulences

    Detail of a high-resolution computer simulation of a highly turbulent salt solution. © University of Twente

    First Max Planck Center for the physics of complex fluid dynamics is inaugurated / Collaboration between two Max Planck Institutes and research groups from the University of Twente.

    The Max Planck Society and the University of Twente are joining forces to set up a groundbreaking centre for the investigation of complex fluid dynamics in Enschede/The Netherlands. The two parties are investing around ten million euros in total to enable this Max Planck - University of Twente Center for Complex Fluid Dynamics to make progress in medical diagnostics, or the operation of wind turbines, for example. It is anticipated that the outstanding research groups and the unique laboratory facilities, which can be used jointly via the Center, will attract scientific talent from all over the world. The inauguration will be celebrated with a symposium at the University of Twente on 3 March with the Presidents of the two institutions, the leading scientists and political guests.

  • Researchers report in Nature Chemistry on cell-permeable nanobodies

    Ring peptides open the cell membrane door allowing antibodies and other therapeutic agents to enter cells. Christoph Hohmann, Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM)

    Darmstadt, July 19, 2017. Scientists at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) Munich and the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP) have managed to introduce tiny antibodies into living cells. The researchers now report on the synthesis and applications for these nanobodies in "Nature Chemistry".

    Antibodies are one of the main weapons of our immune system. They dock to viruses, bacteria and other invaders that course through our blood, and thereby render them harmless. Antibodies also play a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and in research. "One clear limitation is that due to their size and various other factors, antibodies are unable to permeate living cells," emphasises M. Cristina Cardoso, Professor of Cell Biology and Epigenetics in the Department of Biology at the TU Darmstadt.