Hessian Prime Minister, Roland Koch, visited ZAFES





Hessian Prime Minister, Roland Koch, visited the Center for Drug Research, Development and Safety (ZAFES) on July 8th, 2004. The reason for his visit was the grand opening of the Frankfurt Center for Innovation in Biotechnology (FIZ), where the new offices of ZAFES are located.

The ZAFES location, in the FIZ on the Riedberg Campus of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt, exemplifies the significance of this center: the close proximity to academic research on the one hand and the economic realization on the other.
Hessian Prime Minister, Roland Koch, was impressed by the concept of ZAFES. “The Center promotes the actual collaboration between University and Industry.” Prof. Gerd Geißlinger, the speaker of the ZAFES board, emphasized that first successes have been accomplished. We are able to cover almost all aspects of the value chain for the development of a novel drug and by that are able to accelerate the development of innovative drugs. To reach our goal we combine the excellent knowledge of the three worlds “University, Pharmaceutical Industry and Biotechnology”. As a result, a collaboration was established in June 2004 with the California based company Ciphergen, to develop drugs against Alzheimer disease. Without the ZAFES platform the university research would have been of no interest to this company.

ZAFES, along with the Berlin biotech company Medical Enzymes, is pursuing an additional project. ZAFES director Dr. Bernd Stowasser explained that in this project ZAFES members investigate, in collaboration with the industrial partners, novel enzymatic therapies for the treatment of tumors. Prof. Rudolf Steinberg, the president of the Frankfurt University pointed out, that the industrial partners large interest in ZAFES is demonstrated by the fact that Aventis “lends” the ZAFES director to the University. “These are remarkable initial achievements,” stated Koch: “Hessian needs more of these good examples where industrial and university partners collaborate early on to produce novel products and jobs.”



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