The outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic has led to far-reaching changes. With the Corona Update for the Campus Berlin-Buch we would like to inform you and give you a compact overview of the relevant developments and initiatives.
Developments and Product Innovations in the BiotechPark Berlin-Buch
Developing effective tests and vaccines is an essential prerequisite for managing the corona pandemic. Innovative companies in the BiotechPark of Campus Berlin-Buch are actively contributing to this goal. They develop and produce their own tests, manufacture components for tests and offer additional services for tests or drugs.
CONGEN as an innovative test kit manufacturer, developed a test for the direct qualitative detection of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) from human respiratory samples in a very short time. The test is a multiplex real-time RT PCR, which provides results in less than two hours. The test also contains an extraction control, which indicates a possible PCR inhibition, checks the integrity of the reagents and confirms a successful nucleic acid extraction. The test kit is very easy to use and can be performed on all common real-time PCR devices. Using all capacities, Congen started production of the molecular biological analysis kits in February. By the end of April, the company had already provided more than 1.5 million detection kits for the healthcare sector.
ImplaSens develops quantitative tests to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the antibodies that patients have produced against the virus. Currently, ImplaSens will use these tests to develop a point-of-care device based on a "lab-on-a-chip" technology. This should enable users to quickly detect different antigens simultaneously without the need for laboratory equipment, even beyond COVID-19.
Glycotope will offer Covid-19 sample measurements in the near future. This will then include antibody tests in blood samples as well as tests for the detection of viral RNA using qPCR from mucosal swabs.
Components and Services for Tests
AJ Innuscreen develops and produces innovative technologies and products for the isolation and purification of nucleic acids and unique new rapid tests for molecular diagnostics. With these sample preparation tools, AJ Innuscreen creates the prerequisites for performing COVID-19 diagnostic tests (RT-PCR, qPCR) of other providers.
Emp Biotech is the largest independent private company in Europe for the production of solvent mixtures for diagnostic and therapeutic oligonucleotide production, of columns and chromatographic polymers for the desalting and purification of oligonucleotides. The products are used by major international diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies involved in the development of COVID-19 diagnostic tests (RT-PCR, qPCR).
EMP has four independent production facilities in Berlin, two for the manufacture of columns and chromatographic polymers and two for the production of oligonucleotide synthesis reagents.
Invitek Molecular offers a wide range of ready-to-use kits suitable for manual preparation of highly pure nucleic acids as well as for high-throughput purification of DNA/RNA from different starting materials on established laboratory equipment. With these sample preparation tools Invitek provides the prerequisites for performing COVID-19 diagnostic tests (RT-PCR, qPCR) of other suppliers.
LinusLifeScience offers services for the antibody test project with regard to Cov-2 as part of the Charite's collaboration to increase ELISA test capacity. For this test, which is currently under validation, the company provides its experience from 10 years of ELISA test development. So far, there is no reliable AK-Co-2 test; it still has to be validated. In order to be able to make reliable statements about acquired Cov-2 immunity, a joint project with the Charité will be started shortly.
Services for Drug Development
The drug developer Glycotope supports Airway Therapeutics (USA) in optimizing the production process of the anti-inflammatory lung drug AT-100. Currently, the approval of Airway AT-100 as a Covid-19 therapeutic is under review. AT-100 was developed in a Glycotope cell line. In the medium term, an IgA platform for SARS virus control is to be developed.
Satina Medical has developed a respiratory stimulation belt for COPD patients that works by stimulating the diaphragm. In a clinical study it could be shown that the application of the belt increases the oxygen content in the blood back to normal values. In general, improved lung ventilation also helps to prevent pneumonia. Patients newly diagnosed with Covid-19 who are in home quarantine may benefit from the respiratory stimulation belt to prevent a severe course.
Campus Life: CampusVital
In implementation the Ordinance on Measures to Contain the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Berlin issued by the Berlin Senate, the fitness studio at CampusVital was able to reopen on June 2, subject to conditions.
In a very short time it has been possible to switch part of the course operation in the fitness studio from on-site attendance to live online courses. This offer is continuously adapted and expanded to meet needs and demand. Even after the end of the closure it is planned to continue to offer some of the courses live online. The new online CampusVitalCard was created for this purpose.
For all campus employees, an exercise break is also offered as a live online course from Monday to Friday. In order to support employees on campus during the current challenges and to strengthen mental health, CampusVital offers a telephone consultation hour with an experienced and value-oriented business coach within the framework of the company health management.
Campus Life: Gastronomic Services
The Mensa is open Monday to Friday (except on public holidays) from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. You can find the reduced menu online.
Café Max in the Gate House at the entrance to the campus is open every day from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm starting May 15, 2020. Please make a reservation by phone, mobile phone or WhatsApp: 030 9489 2300 or 0151 25 22 23 82
The Bäckerei Brotbrücke and the Café rock paper remain temporarily closed. There are currently no food trucks on campus.
Campus Life: Bicycle Repair Shop
The bicycle repair shop in Building A12 remains open.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Phone: (030) 9416 635 and 0176 44 42 40 57
Since May 4th, the Life Science Learning Lab has again been offering laboratory courses for school classes. The courses are held in accordance with the current distance regulations and hygiene requirements. The maximum group size will be reduced; in some cases classes will be divided between two laboratories.
The training measure Laboratory Methods of Molecular Biology and Cell Culture, carried out jointly with CQ Consulting and Education, will now take place in August 2020 instead of March. Another regular course will start in September 2020.
After initially ceasing further training operations completely in mid-March, the Gläsernes Labor Akademie (GLA) has succeeded in finding new dates for all planned events in the second half of 2020. The Gläsernes Labor Akademie has also reacted by adapting some of its course programs. For example, a new course module has been added to the theoretical part of the RealTime PCR and Digital PCR course, which deals with virus detection using the example of SARS-CoV-2. The Laboratory 4.0 Training Day, which will now take place on November 6, 2020, will also focus on the special occupational situation to which technical employees and laboratory technicians are exposed due to the Corona pandemic.
The current annual program of the Gläsernes Labor Akademie can be found here: www.glaesernes-labor-akademie.de/de/programm
The Life Science Learning Lab was not able to carry out the very popular holiday program for children during the Easter holidays. The children's programme for the summer holidays can now be booked at www.forscherferien-berlin.de. Special regulations and measures to contain the coronavirus apply.
Corona Research on the Campus
In view of the pandemic, the research institutions of the Berlin-Buch Campus are pooling resources for projects that contribute to a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2. After a phase of minimal operation, the facilities have been in basic operation since April 27th.
The most up-to-date information can be obtained from the following institutions:
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC)
Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP)
Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)
CoronaApp of the Charité (CovApp)
The CovApp is a software developed by the Charité in cooperation with Data4Life. Within a few minutes you answer a catalog of questions and receive specific recommendations for action. You will be asked questions about current symptoms and possible contacts.
Corona Portal of the Cluster HealthCapital
The Corona portal of the HealthCapital cluster offers a compact overview of all relevant information and contact points as well as constantly updated references to new initiatives.
As of: May 11, 2020