ISAM Congress: PharmBioTec presents possibilities to replace animal testing

PharmBioTec drew attention to its in vitro methodologies against animal testing at the ISAM congress as a bronze sponsor. The congress of the “International Society for Aerosols in Medicine” met in Saarbrücken from August 26 to August 30, 2023. There we were able to make a versatile contribution to aerosol scientists from all over the world.

In a lecture, Dr. Marius Hittinger shared his knowledge with experts from the fields of medicine, toxicology and regulation. In parallel, young scientists demonstrated their research projects in the company at an exhibition stand. The “Nasal Cavity” model for investigating drug deposition was the perfect demonstration material. Interested parties were also able to find out about PharmBioTec’s equipment and methods. In a poster about the Saarland’s 3Rs network against animal testing, we were represented with our developed SAFE evaluation scheme. We were able to improve our assessment of safety and efficacy especially in the project “Kombipulmonal” (funding: INNO-KOM).

The ISAM congress gave us the opportunity to have a lively exchange about projects in research and industry and to establish new contacts. At the same time, PharmBioTec also met many friends and cooperation partners. Among them were scientists from MannKind Corp. to VITROCELL Systems, URSATEC, the Free University of Berlin and the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research in Saarland, to name just a few. An absolute highlight was that we were all able to marvel at the Saarschleife together during the conference. On the last day of the ISAM congress, we enthusiastically followed a stimulating lecture by virologist Prof. Dr. Christian Drosten, who convinced us with the application of modern in vitro methodologies.

In summary, the ISAM congress was a complete success for PharmBioTec. We were able to actively support young scientists and to plan new projects already during the congress. It was a key experience for us to observe how science all over the world is developing towards in vitro models to replace animal testing.

New challenge for PharmBioTec: EU-funded research project with Sapienza University in Rome

In the world of natural sciences, especially drug development, there are many areas of research that can improve our lives substantially. Green chemistry or sustainable chemistry is the term used to describe the kind of chemistry that tries to curb pollution, save energy and thus produce chemicals in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Green chemistry is, therefore, also playing an increasingly important role in the development of environmentally friendly and efficient technologies, for example, in the production of drugs and their precursors.

The initiator of the project is Dr. Clemens Zwergel. Being born in the Saarland region, he graduated in Pharmacy in Saarbrücken. After his doctoral studies in Metz, France, he is currently working as an assistant professor in Rome at the Department of Drug Chemistry and Technology at Sapienza University. At this important centre for pharmaceutical science and research, the team around Zwergel, together with his mentor Prof. Dr. Antonello Mai – is working on innovative green synthesis methods. They have initiated and received approval for a project on green methods in drug development funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research and the EU, together with PharmBiotec gGmbH.

PharmBioTec gGmbH, with its new site in Schiffweiler, Germany, is led by Dr Marius Hittinger, CEO. The company is specialised in the design and synthesis of compound libraries for hit-to-lead and lead optimisation using state-of-the-art environmentally friendly and sustainable methods. Another branch of the company’s research department deals with innovative assays able to replace animal testing in the preclinical development phase of drugs.

As a former start-up of Saarland University, PharmBioTec gGmbH works closely with academic institutions and research facilities to promote a cooperative and interdisciplinary approach to drug development.

The new cooperation project between the Saarland-based company and the Sapienza University in Rome focuses on green chemistry and ecological responsibility to ensure that the development of new drugs goes hand in hand with minimal environmental impact.

Together with Dr. Marius Hittinger from PharmBioTec, the researchers from Italy aim to integrate environmentally friendly chemical processes into the development of innovative drugs resulting in a decreased use of hazardous chemicals and less waste. The clear goal of the partnership is sustainable innovation promoting a cleaner and safer environment.