Czech/SlovakiaCzech RepublicSlovakia

New Brno-based life sciences centre opens up for business


Brno – Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas has officially inaugurated the first of six European Technology Institutes slated to be launched in the Czech Republic with help from European FEDER funds. Although construction of the €200m Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) will not be complete until 2014, the life sciences research centre – made up of ten facilities – has already begun operations. Following a workshop with EMBL researchers, CEITEC deputy director Ondrej Hradil announced in mid-November that the center has already been approached with several proposals for cooperation in the fields of bioinformatics, innovative sequencing techniques and development of new methods of advanced optical microscopy. Up to now, the Czech Republic has not been an EMBL member country, but CEITEC would support negotiations on its membership. Earlier in November, CEITEC ordered four ultra-high field AVANCETM NMR systems from Bruker, which will make it the premier biological NMR research facility in Central and Eastern Europe. “High-field NMR spectroscopy will be combined with other progressive high-resolution methods of structural analysis here such as single-crystal X-ray diffraction, high-end cryo-electron microscopy and tomography, and an atomic force microscopy for understanding of the vital cellular processes,” said Vladimir Sklenar, the Structural Biology Programme Coordinator at CEITEC.

Boost for biotech clusters

Bringing Brno-based research institutes into the CEITEC cluster is part of a more general governmental initiative aimed at creating big research hubs that attract foreign investment and companies. According to the Prague Post, CEITEC is already in discussions with 100 companies that want to pursue research at the site.
The other sites scheduled for opening are also designed to boost bio­technology in the Czech Republic. Along with CEITEC, Prague is aiming to launch an International Clinical Research Centre (ICRC), a Biotechnology and Biomedicine Research Centre (BIOCEV), a Sustainable Energy Centre (SUSEN), an Information Technology for Innovations (IT4I) hub, and an Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) cluster. 70% of the costs will be covered by state or EU funding, the rest is to be funded by private investors.

Czech/SlovakiaCzech RepublicSlovakia


The Czech government has beefed up its investments in biotech with the help of EU structural funds. In February, the country’s Education Minister Josef Dobes gave the go-ahead for the Biocev centre in Vestec near Prague. Although...

Czech/SlovakiaCzech RepublicSlovakia


Prague – Czech drug developer VUAB Pharma a.s. has joined CzechBio. The company, which has its headquarters in Roztoky near Prague, became the 35th member of the Czech biotechnology industry association in September. VUAB...

Czech/SlovakiaCzech RepublicSlovakia


Praque – A team of researchers headed by Dr. Valdimir Kral, Director of Chemical Development at Sanofi-Aventis’ Czech research unit Zentiva Development sro, has presented a new targeted drug delivery system that couples combined...

Czech/SlovakiaCzech RepublicSlovakia


Brno – Plans for building a Central European Insitute of Technology (CEITEC) in Brno look set to take a big step closer to becoming reality. In mid-May, CEITEC representatives announced that EU financing for the EUR260m...

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Plzen – Czech antibody discovery and development specialist AbCheck s.r.o. has signed its first contract with a big pharma company. In October, the yearling Czech spin-off from German antibody drug developer Affimed GmbH...

Czech/SlovakiaCzech RepublicSlovakia


Prague – CzechInvest has called on Czech high-tech companies in the field of ICT, bio­technology, clean technology and micro­electronics to apply for the Czech Technology Accelerator programme. Under the third call, which was...

Czech/SlovakiaCzech RepublicSlovakia


Prague – Czech researchers from Charles University in Prague have discovered a molecular biomarker that helps to predict toxicity and a higher risk for adverse effects in children with juvenile arthritis that are treated with...

Czech/SlovakiaCzech RepublicSlovakia


Prague – Czech biotech company Lenti­Kats AS has begun worldwide commercialisation of a patented, cost-effective encapsulation technology for use in the food and bio­pharmaceuticals industry. The company has discovered a way to...

Czech/SlovakiaCzech RepublicSlovakia


Sofia – Bulgaria’s parliament has approved a law that will in effect ban any cultivation of GMO crops in the country. “There will be no field on the country’s territory where GMOs can be cultivated,” said Kostadin Yazov from the...

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