Strategic Communication and Public Relations

DKFZ proposal nominated as first funded project of beLAB2122

No. 56c | 27/10/2021 | by Koh

To translate results from academic research in the Rhine-Main-Neckar life science region, the drug discovery and development company Evotec, in collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb, recently launched the "beLAB2122" research network. The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) as one of the academic partners of the new BRIDGE academic partnership. Evotec has now selected a DKFZ project for initial funding.

beLAB2122: A new bridge connects research and industry
© Wikimedia Commons

Following the signing of the beLAB2122 collaboration agreement in April 2021, Evotec has now nominated the first project to be developed under this academic BRIDGE partnership.

The project, planned in the laboratory of Darjus Tschaharganeh at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), involves the development of compounds that target cancer cells on the basis of so-called "synthetic lethality". Scientists speak of synthetic lethal interactions between two genes when a cell is viable when one of these two genes is disrupted, but the disruption of both genes at the same time leads to a loss of viability. „Our project aims to develop small-molecular inhibitors of a nutrient transporter important for the survival of certain cancer cells. beLAB2122 provides the fantastic opportunity to use Evotec's integrated research and development platform to validate and further develop our project with the goal to advance it to a point where new, jointly operated spin-off company with BMS can be formed, said Tschaharganeh, group leader at the DKFZ, and Professor at Heidelberg University.

beLAB2122 will now use Evotec's integrated research and development platform to validate and further develop the project. The goal of beLAB2122 is to advance academic projects to a point where new, jointly operated spin-off companies can be formed.

beLAB2122 brings together the leading academic institutions from the Rhine-Main-Neckar region to efficiently translate promising treatment approaches in all therapeutic areas and formats into investable drug discovery and early development projects.

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) with its more than 3,000 employees is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. More than 1,300 scientists at the DKFZ investigate how cancer develops, identify cancer risk factors and search for new strategies to prevent people from developing cancer. They are developing new methods to diagnose tumors more precisely and treat cancer patients more successfully. The DKFZ's Cancer Information Service (KID) provides patients, interested citizens and experts with individual answers to all questions on cancer.

Jointly with partners from the university hospitals, the DKFZ operates the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg and Dresden, and the Hopp Children's Tumour Center KiTZ in Heidelberg. In the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), one of the six German Centers for Health Research, the DKFZ maintains translational centers at seven university partner locations. NCT and DKTK sites combine excellent university medicine with the high-profile research of the DKFZ. They contribute to the endeavor of transferring promising approaches from cancer research to the clinic and thus improving the chances of cancer patients.

The DKFZ is 90 percent financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and 10 percent by the state of Baden-Württemberg. The DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.

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