New members for the life science family: IMG Saxony-Anhalt is canvassing for the German state with globally successful biotech expertise at BIO 2017

Quäschning: “Dense networking of scientific centers of excellence for green, red and white biotechnology make Saxony-Anhalt the ideal biotech location”

Magdeburg/San Diego. The expertise in Saxony-Anhalt’s life science industry is to convince just under 16,000 international experts from the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology of the location advantages in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt at the BIO International Convention 2017 in mid-June.

“It’s all about finding growth for the highly specialized life science family in Saxony-Anhalt,” says Bettina Quäschning, the acting CEO of the IMG - Investment and Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt, the Economic Development Agency of the German Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt. “Saxony-Anhalt puts all its eggs in one basket here – the dense networking of scientific centers of excellence that offer companies from a whole range of pharmaceutical, plant-based and industrial biotechnology the ideal conditions.”

  • BioPharmaPark Dessau with IDT Biologika, an international biotechnology company with an almost 100-year tradition in the production of vaccines and pharmaceuticals in Dessau, is one of these focal points.
  • ZENIT Magdeburg is considered to be another center of excellence with its neuroscience focus. Big players like Salutas Pharma (Novartis) have also found a business home in Magdeburg.
  • Fighting hunger in the lab and on the field – that’s the focus at the “Green Gate Gatersleben® – The Plant Biotech Center” where they are working on solutions to ensure nutrition and sustainable agriculture. The location is traditionally rooted in plant research. The core of the biotech center is the Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung (IPK) [Leibniz institute for plant genetics and crop plant research], one of the internationally leading scientific establishments in this area. Amongst other things, it is home to the Federal Center ex-situ gene bank for agricultural and horticultural crop plants, the largest gene bank with samples of crop plants from Europe and all over the world. In the biotech centre Gatersleben, the Bayer CropSciene group operates its European wheat growing centre.
  • In the “Central German chemicals triangle”, for example at the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes (CBP), the focus is on “white”, i.e. industrial biotechnology. In a worldwide unique process, the French company Global Bioenergies wants to allow sugar to react with bacteria in such a way that hydrocarbons are formed, in a plant on a large technical scale.
  • More than a billion euro has in the meantime been invested at the “Weinberg Campus” in Halle (Saale), one of the biggest founding and technology parks in Germany. Around 5,000 employees are currently employed there. Probiodrug AG listed on the Euronext in Amsterdam is also researching an innovative therapy concept for the treatment of Alzheimer dementia here. Icon Genetics GmbH in Halle develops new biopharmaceuticals and high quality protein active ingredients by using plants as a production tool. The until now unique anti-Ebola serum ZMapp made from tobacco plants that the plant researchers from Saxony-Anhalt developed, hit the headlines. Navigo Proteins GmbH (formerly Scil Proteins) also from Halle (Saale), also took advantage of the good establishment conditions on the Weinbergcampus. The biotechnology company is a specialist, and European market leader in the area of modification of proteins – protein engineering.

Bettina Quäschning: “We will present Saxony-Anhalt as an attractive biotech location for foreign investors and impress them with immediately available spaces and labs and quick decisions in administration and funding at the Bio International Convention 2017.” One important location factor for biotech companies in Saxony-Anhalt is the closely networked and dense research landscape, continues Quäschning. “Two universities, three universities of applied sciences and ten research institutes - Max-Planck, Fraunhofer, Leibniz and Helmholtz associations concentrate strongly on the areas of enzyme and protein biotechnology and neurosciences. The state’s universities and universities of applied sciences, which offer numerous Bachelor and Master’s courses relevant to biotechnology, provide the academic education.” An example of this is the foundation of the Center of Life Sciences at the University of Applied Sciences Anhalt, which combines various branches of biotechnology, pharmaceutical technology and nutritional sciences. The University of Applied Sciences Anhalt also offers industrial biotechnology, bioprocess technology, algae biotechnology and active ingredient development as focuses.“

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