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Falling Walls Circle – Plenary Table: Altering Medicine by Cell and Gene Therapy

Bayer & Berlin Institute of Health at Charité, Berlin Institute of Health, Falling Walls Foundation | Maria Alfaiate, Hildegard Büning, Johannes Fruehauf, Sarah Hedtrich, Debora Lucarelli, Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann

The creation of innovative medicines using cells and genes as therapeutic agents greatly profits from the ongoing technological progress. Innovation happens across academia and industry and collaboration in manufacturing, clinical validation and market entry is crucial for the development of novel therapies that benefit healthcare. The experts of this Plenary Table will discuss the learnings from exemplary innovation hubs regarding key success factors of co-development and co-creation and how collaborations between academia, start-ups and industry can better serve patients’ particular needs and advance societal and economic sustainability.

Supported by Bayer & Berlin Institute of Health at Charité.

Maria currently Heads New products Commercialization and Portfolio Strategy at Bayer Pharma. In this role, her team collaborates with Research and Development Teams providing commercial input and value assessments to shape future assets that bring value to patients, HCPs and society in general.  In the past 20 years she has held a number of different roles in different Pharmaceutical Companies such as AstraZeneca and MSD/Merck & Co, both in Country and Global capacity. She is passionate about innovation and science.

Hildegard Büning

Medizinische Hochschule Hannover

Hildegard Büning is Professor of Infection Biology of the Gene Transfer and Deputy Director of the Institute of Experimental Hematology at Hannover Medical School (Germany). She served as President of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (www.ESGCT.eu), is the Scientific Secretary of the German Society for Gene Therapy (www.dg-gt.de) and a Member of the Board of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (https://asgct.org/). She studied Biology and obtained her PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) at the LMU Munich. Since then, she is active in the field of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors with a particular focus on improving the efficacy and safety of these biological nanoparticles.

Fruehauf is a physician-scientist and life-science entrepreneur. He is the Founder & CEO of LabCentral/Biolabs, the award-winning international network of biotech startup spaces spanning major biotech markets in the US, Germany, France and Japan. The concept of these facilities has changed the way biotech companies are built. Companies launched at Biolabs/LabCentral have raised over $20bn in VC financing since 2010.
He is a Founding General Partner at Mission BioCapital, a life-science VC fund in Boston.
Fruehauf studied Medicine in Germany and France. He is an author of 30 peer reviewed articles in the medical literature and inventor on numerous issued and pending patents.

Sarah Hedtrich

Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH)

Hedtrich obtained her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2009. In 2015, she was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the Freie University of Berlin, Germany, and relocated her lab to the U of British Columbia, Canada, in 2019. Currently, she holds one of the prestigious Johanna-Quandt-Professorships at the BIH@Charité in Berlin and maintains an Affiliate Professorship with UBC. Her research centers around inflammatory and genetic diseases of human epithelia and bioengineering of complex, human disease models which are leveraged to develop personalized next-generation therapies.

Debora Lucarelli

Enhanc3D Genomics

Debora has a wealth of experience in technology development and a strong track record of successfully delivering large-scale projects in academia and industry. Previously, she led a cancer signature discovery program at Biomodal, directed laboratory research in large population studies (Head of laboratory, MRC Epidemiology, University of Cambridge) and worked on the development of the Oxford Nanopore’s technology. At Enhanc3D Genomics Debora is driving development of the technical platforms, establishing partnerships across the pharma and biotech industry and advocating the advent of a 3D genomics era.

Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann

University Medical Center Göttingen

Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann is Professor and Director of the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University Medical Center Göttingen. His research interests include: development and translation of stem cell-based tissue engineered therapeutics; therapeutic genome editing; human organoids for disease modelling and drug discovery; inter-cellular and inter-organ cross-talk in organ damage and repair. Major organs/tissue of interest include heart muscle, skeletal muscle, nervous system, and connective tissue. Zimmermann is the initiator of the first-in-human BioVAT-HF-DZHK20 trial, which is testing tissue engineered heart repair with Engineered Human Myocardium (EHM) from induced pluripotent stem cells in patients with advanced heart failure. His track record includes >200 publications, 13 patents, and the founding of several spin-offs (e.g., Repairon, myriamed, MyriaMeat).


About the Venue
Radialsystem – Lecture Hall
Holzmarktstraße 33
Berlin, 10243 Germany

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