A cure for the medical research-to-market gap

To tighten up the medical value chain, the EU-funded InfectoGnostics Research Campus Jena project brings together science, industry und clinics in Germany’s Thuringia region. The result is more devices for diagnostic testing being brought to market quicker.

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" Whether regarding technological or organisational aspects, InfectoGnostics is an innovative project on both counts. Technologically, the combination of photonic technology with molecular techniques and microfluidic-based sample preparation provides a basis for fast and safe diagnostics with systems that can be used on-site. Organisationally, InfectoGnostics provides a governance that equally considers the interests of all stakeholders. "

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Popp, InfectoGnostics Spokesperson

The key to stopping the spread of new diseases is a fast and reliable diagnosis and quick understanding of their possible resistance to current antibiotics. Unfortunately, this process is too often derailed by a gap between what’s happening in the lab and what’s being brought onto the market.   

The ERDF-funded InfectoGnostics Research Campus JENA project has a cure. 

Located at the Centre for Applied Research in Jena InfectoGnostics is serving as a hub for fast translational science:  technologists and scientists who typically work isolated in a university lab are now working directly with clinicians and pharmaceutical and medical companies. This networking has speeded up the development of rapid, point-to-care devices for diagnostic testing.

Collaborative care

The Thuringia Region’s InfectoGnostic Research Campus is a state-of-the-art facility that hosts numerous photonic technologies, an array of laboratories and a bio bank. It provides researchers with access to clinical samples. Working together as a public-private partnership, over 25 companies are collaborating with 14 leading research institutions through the Campus. Most are SMEs based in Germany’s Thuringia region. Via this cooperative method, participants are better able to leverage the synergies and innovative specialisations of the group and can also make more efficient use of the public funds available through the Centre.   

Efforts have focused on the creation of rapid, portable and non-invasive point-of-care devices for the diagnosis of such infections as pneumonia and the identification of their resistance to antibiotic therapy. The campus has already assembled an impressive portfolio of technologies for detecting infectious agents and profiling their antibiotic resistance, with this information serving as the foundation for developing new devices. 

The project has also successfully launched two start-up companies – with more to come – along with a marketable product capable of detecting enzymes that mediate bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Long-term benefits 

By proving that gaps in the medical value chain can only be overcome by direct public-private partnerships, the InfectoGnostic Research Centre has established itself as the go-to place where researchers from various disciplines and organisations can safely exchange ideas and work together. 

In addition to its success in developing new diagnostic devices, the project has successfully established long-term partnerships between researchers, clinicians and companies – guaranteeing that the InfectoGnostics Research Campus JENA project will continue to benefit medicine well into the future.

Total investment and EU funding 

Total investment for the project “InfectoGnostics Research Campus JENA – A Partnership of Infection Diagnostics” is EUR 27 101 912, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 7 902 767 through the “Thüringen” Operational Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period.

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