Christoph Freiberg, GenData, Basel, Schweiz

We have implemented a dedicated cell line development platform for automating the generation, selection, and assessment of mammalian cell lines. By centrally capturing and processing all data along the CLD process, the system identifies high-yield cell lines showing the most promise for biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

Christine Hawner, BioNtech, Mainz, Germany

Every tumor has an exclusive pattern of tumor antigens which are based on acquired mutations. Even within the same type of cancer, only a small percentage of mutations is shared, most of them are absolutely unique for each and every patient. At BioNTech, we use next generation sequencing of patient samples and proprietary analytical algorithms to define these tumor-specific antigen signatures. Using these signatures or “mutanomes” we generate treatments tailored to target each individual tumor. We have developed an mRNA-based cancer-immunotherapy platform that utilizes this tumor-specific information to develop personalized treatments for each patient.

Andreas Vilcinskas, Institute for Insect Biotechnology, Justus Liebig-University Giessen, Germany, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, Department Bioressources, Giessen, Germany

The increasing prevalence of human pathogens which evolved resistance against a number of therapeutic antibiotics, the so called multi-drug-resistant (MDR) bacteria, along with the gap in developing new antibiotics raises increasing public concern and fosters the search for new candidate molecules displaying antibacterial activity, particularly against Gram-negative bacteria. Sanofi and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s leading organization for applied research, have launched in 2014 a natural product center of excellence to accelerate the discovery and development of new therapies to treat infectious diseases.

Jochen Hartner, Horizon Discovery Ltd, UK

Functional genomic screening with CRISPR–Cas9 has provided a powerful and precise new way to interrogate the phenotypic consequences of gene manipulation in high-throughput, unbiased analyses. Rapid development of pooled lentivirus and deep-sequencing-led approaches have allowed us and others to exploit this technology in target ID, target validation, drug MOA analysis and patient stratification.