BioRN Lounge: Heike A. Wieland reported on a freshly established research collaboration in Heidelberg.
After the long summer break, the BioRN Lounge was the occasion for life science companies as well for scientists from our research institutes, to meet and chat about latest news and achievements. The BioRN Lounge is the prime monthly networking event for BioRN members. It is the occasion for exchange, meeting and interaction in a very relaxed atmosphere with some drinks and food.
As tradition, an invited speaker from the network presents and discusses with the participants, scientific trends, outbreaking techniques, outstanding research and more. Yesterday the Lounge hosted Heike A. Wieland, Director External Ecosystem R&D at Sanofi-Aventis in Frankfurt and member of the strategic advisory board of the BioRN Network e.V..
Within her role, Heike A. Wieland is responsible for the activities and strategy to develop the German R&D Hub ecosystem leading to interactions with academia, biotechs and governmental research organizations.
“In my role, I look for solutions to the gaps in Sanofi’s pipeline, within the local German ecosystem. I leverage the ecosystem around Frankfurt for Sanofi globally.”
After a short introduction on Sanofi HUBs worldwide, she presented to the audience different collaboration platforms, as examples of Sanofi R&D Key Strategies. Freshly signed few days ago is the integration of Sanofi into “Open Targets”, an innovative pre-competitive collaboration between Wellcome Sanger Institute, EMBL-EBI, GSK, Biogen, Takeda and Celgene. The process has been strongly supported and driven by Birgit Kerber, Open Targets Business Development Lead and a very active member in our cluster through her current role at EMBL’s technology transfer arm, EMBLEM.
Open Targets is an innovative, large-scale, multi-year, public-private partnership that uses human genetics and genomics data for systematic drug target identification and prioritisation. The project currently focuses on oncology, immunology and neurodegeneration through an R&D framework that can be applied to all aspects of human disease. Project results are constantly made public and available at the Open Targets Platform to provide summaries of the evidence for the involvement of a specific gene with a selected disease.
Our next BioRN lounge will be on November 27 as usual in the Kasselhaus by Urban Kitchen and will host Prof. Eckhard Friauf, Biology Department, University of Kaiserslautern.
BioRN is a life science research and industry cluster dedicated to the development of cell-specific, molecular and personalised innovative treatments. The BioRN Cluster stands for the development, networking, representation and promotion of the life science region into one of the leading life science clusters in Europe. The cluster-members include renowned academic research institutions such as the Universities of Heidelberg, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and big pharmaceutical companies such as AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Roche, und Sanofi-Aventis, and about 80 small and medium-sized biotech enterprises. Beyond the members registered in the cluster, BioRN gives access to a wider network via partnerships and collaborations. In terms of the use of clusters for the internationalization of companies, BioRN has founded, together with Leuven (Belgium), Maastricht (Netherlands) and Copenhagen (Denmark), an alliance for the enforcement of biomedical innovation in Europe, called the Health Axis Europe.