Press release: Five innovative research projects from Berlin receive the Sanofi iAward Europe

Five research projects of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin were selected from 190 submitted dossiers for the new Sanofi Innovation Awards Europe Program (Sanofi iAwards Europe). Leading BIH and Charité scientists convinced in an international competition with their innovative, translational projects with which they drive forward the development of novel active substances and therapies. The awards ceremony took place last Friday in Paris.

BIH is one of the partners in Sanofi's European iAward program. The innovation program is designed to help the establishment of an early-stage research culture that can quickly translate innovative academic research into clinical testing. The three-year program invests up to six million euros in funding 19 innovative research projects across academic centers in France and Germany. This year, projects were selected that focus on new disease targets or new mechanisms of action, or even based on mathematical models. Five different areas are covered: oncology/immune-oncology, neurosciences, immunology, diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases as well as cardiovascular diseases.

"The Sanofi iAwards program is a stepping-stone initiative that identifies promising academic projects. The aim is to bring research institutions together as partners at the earliest stage of drug research in order to prepare a potential multi-year research cooperation for the most promising projects. I am very pleased that five joint projects from BIH and Charité have been selected for this exclusive program," says Dr. Rolf Zettl, Administrative Director of BIH and the member of the Executive Board responsible for Berlin Health Innovations, the joint technology transfer of BIH and Charité.

The five research projects selected from Berlin include three projects in the field of immunology:

Arthritic joint diseases - Prof. Dr. Frank Buttgereit (BIH - Charité)BIH Clinical Fellow, Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology

Myasthenia gravis - Prof. Dr. Falk Hiepe (BIH - Charité)
Clinic for Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Dr. Bruno Stuhlmüller (BIH - Charité)
Clinic for Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology

a project in the field of diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases:

Chronic kidney disease - Prof. Dr. Andreas Kurtz (BIH - Charité)
Berlin-Brandenburg Centre for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT)

and a project in the field of cardiovascular diseases:

Heart failure - Dr. Irene Müller (BIH - Charité)
Berlin-Brandenburg Centre for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT).

The program will fund and nurture selected projects for one year, with the potential to lead to further collaborations. The aim is to accelerate the research and development process and address patients’ needs more quickly. These efforts combine new findings from academic research institutions on the biological mechanisms of diseases with Sanofi's drug discovery and development capabilities. In addition to France and Germany, academic partners from other European countries are to join the Sanofi iAwards Europe Program in the coming years.