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Cancer immunotherapies should be developed in Vienna

Cancer © Photo: APA (Hochmuth)

"Boehringer Ingelheim invests about EUR 200 million each year in non-clinical and clinical research“, said Philipp von Lattorff, CEO of the regional center for the German pharmaceutical giant in Vienna, which is responsible for 33 countries. He was speaking at a press conference to commemorate the opening of the new research building, built at a cost of about EUR 19 million. It offers space for 80 employees working in the field of immunology.  

The search for new immunotherapeutics to combat cancer is to be intensified in Vienna. According to Darryl McConnell, who heads the research facility in Vienna, the underlying mission following the attack on the “Achilles heel” of tumor cells based on target-oriented therapies is to take away the “caps of invisibility” of these malignant cells, which protect them against the body’s own immune system.

The first such therapies with monoclonal antibodies (checkpoint inhibitors) are already allowed in the case of advanced melanoma and some types of lung cancer. Long-term efficiency only exists at present with about 20 percent of the patients and can thus be significantly improved, for example by means of new, small-sized synthetic active-ingredient molecules, therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and/or anti-cancer vaccines.

The Boehringer-Ingelheim Group has bundled its cancer research in Vienna since the year 2000. Moreover, an additional EUR 20 million is made available to provide basic financing for the Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP). The new, recently constructed faculty building at IMP cost approximately EUR 50 million.  

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