Life Sciences

生物医学X研究所:一个新的research model at the interface between industry and academia

BioMed X is a new collaborative model between academia and industry developing innovative products in the fields of biomedicine, molecular biology, cell biology and diagnostics.

The BioMed X Institute located on the campus of the University of Heidelberg in Germany is a new collaborative model in which early-career biomedical scientists recruited globally work together on novel preclinical research projects. Interdisciplinary project teams conduct research in the fields of biomedicine, molecular biology, cell biology and diagnostics in an open-innovation lab facility under the guidance of experienced mentors from academia and industry while also expanding their scientific network and receiving training in entrepreneurship and leadership. Each team is typically sponsored by one of BioMedX’s corporate pharmaceutical partners, which include AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Janssen, Merck KGaA and Roche. Once a BioMedX project is completed, it is internalized into the development pipeline of the respective pharmaceutical partner.


Last October,BioMed Xsuccessfully completed its first joint research project with Boehringer Ingelheim in neuroscience, the results of the project being transferred to the pharmaceutical partner for further development.The joint project commenced in 2016 as a global call for research proposals using the BioMed X crowdsourcing platform.The项目发现了神经胶质细胞亚型的贡献,称为星形胶质细胞对抑郁症分子表型的贡献。研究小组使用最先进的遗传方法和成像方法,为有缺陷的神经胶体相互作用及其对神经递质稳态的后果提供了全面的见解。这项工作导致了调节抑郁症受损的关键过程的分子成分的鉴定。候选基因已在几种生物系统中得到验证,并提出了新的胶质特异性药物靶标的抑郁症。

克里斯蒂安·蒂多纳(Christian Tidona)博士,Managing Director & Founder of the BioMed X Institute, comments: “This is the second successfully completed project with Boehringer Ingelheim and our first one in the field of psychiatric diseases. Our ongoing partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim is a bright example for sustainable translational research at the interface between academia and industry resulting in solid new impulses for pharmaceutical research and development.”

Another BioMed X research programme being carried out in collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, started in January 2020, is investigating myelination deficits of the adolescent brain in connection with the development of schizophrenia.Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia emerge as a consequence of abnormal brain development and maturation. During adolescence, the brain is reorganized for mature function by processes such as cortical myelination, dendritic arborization, synaptic pruning, and circuit plasticity. Particularly in schizophrenia, there is evidence that genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors negatively affect the balanced functional maturation during adolescence and cumulatively increase the risk for developing symptoms.

Boehringer Ingelheim支持的Biomedx研究小组正在专门研究髓鞘缺陷,这在精神分裂症患者的大脑中已经观察到。创新方法包括开发体外体内研究少突胶质细胞发育和髓鞘形成以及该项目的目标的平台是确定影响髓鞘形成的新型外部(神经元)和固有(少突胶质细胞)因素,作为预防高风险个体中精神分裂症的潜在潜在目标。

Expanded immunology collaboration

去年11月,BioMed Xadded a further research programme in the field of immunology to the Institute’s existing collaboration with Janssen Research & Development, LLC. The new project is focused on the development of novel methodologies to systematically profile and dissect complex tissue microenvironments with the goal of identifying components that induce pro-resolution responses in tissue-resident innate immune cells to restore homeostasis in autoinflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA)and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BioMed X is striving to develop an arsenal of ultrafast new antiviral drug discovery, development and mass-manufacturing tools, the Rapid Antiviral Response (RAR) Platform,to allow rapid medical treatment development from the identification of a new viral pathogen to 10,000 doses of a safe and potent new medication in less than 6 months.

SARS-COV-2是对全球公共卫生和全球经济的严重威胁。Tidona博士说:“目前的药物发现,开发和大规模制造过程太慢,无法对Covid-19等病毒大流行作出反应,” Tidona博士说:“为了避免将来封锁全球经济,我们需要全新的技术至少比目前的最新时间快十倍。这就是我们RAR平台打算提供的。”

The RAR Platform will consist of up to eight project modules, each focusing on a different viral target space across a wide variety of virus genera infecting humans or animals. Each organization that joins the RAR Consortium can freely choose to support one of these eight project modules.

Begoña Fonseca VázquezPR / Science