Cooperation on drug delivery with the Hebrew University
During initial exploratory discussions between Professor Shai Arkin, vice president of the Hebrew University, and Fraunhofer head of research Professor Ulrich Buller, Life Sciences crystallized as a strategic area for a collaborative research venture between the two institutions. The School of Pharmacy is one of the Jerusalem-based university’s strongest areas and is embedded in a lively Israeli pharmaceuticals sector characterized by young, innovative companies. During the visit of a Fraunhofer delegation to Israel in January 2012, including Prof. Ulrich Buller, representatives of the Fraunhofer ITEM and IAP Iinstitutes and a strong contingent from the Fraunhofer IGB, the prerequisites were created for the signing of a strategic cooperation on the topic of drug discovery and delivery and drug discovery. Drug delivery is understood as the path and release of a medication to its target location in the patient’s body.
This agreement resulted in a call for joint project proposals, which was taken up by the scientific coordinators Prof. Gershon Golomb (Hebrew University) and Dr. Steffen Rupp (Fraunhofer IGB). The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is making a total 1.4 million euros available for the funding of the cooperation from its internal ICON program for financing international activities. Following evaluation by external experts, two projects were authorized for the Fraunhofer IGB and its Hebrew University partners, to the tune of some 900,000 euros – and the active phase of the cooperation commenced in November 2012. Here the expertise of the Fraunhofer IGB is called asked for, particularly with regard to the experimental validation of active agents using easy-to-handle model systems. A third project will be identified from additional applications in early 2013.