LISAvienna: Business Meeting at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna

Around 100 guests from the Viennese biotechnology industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the medical devices sector, the academic side of the life sciences, as well as key decision-makers from the public sector accepted our invitation to networking. A tour of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna campus offered particularly clear insight.

After being welcomed by Rector Sonja Hammerschmid, Bruno Podesser, Head of the Department of Biomedical Research at the Medical University of Vienna, held an introductory lecture emphasizing that there can be no progress in the field of medicine without sophisticated biomedical research. Predictive models from the in vitro system to novel animal models in which complex diseases such as cancer can be studied in an unprecedented manner play a special role. The related challenges for the life sciences in Vienna were discussed during the panel discussion. Besides Bruno Podesser, Otto Doblhoff-Dier, Vice Rector for Research and International Relations at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Richard Moriggl from the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research and Professor of Translational Methods in Cancer Research at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Eva Prieschl-Grassauer, CSO of Marinomed Biotechnologie GmbH and Joachim Seipelt, Business Unit Manager Technology/Innovation of aws took part in the discussion. It was agreed that biomedical research in the future would not be able without animal testing. In order for valid data to be produced and to make the work in the animal model socially acceptable, good experimental design and first-class handling of animals are of central importance. Currently, Vienna is lacking the infrastructure for breeding test animals. As part of this issue it cannot be concealed that animal tests that are not performed here for reasons of capacity or due to protests, are shifted to other countries. Tests are carried out there under significantly worse conditions and less public control. And instead of pride in their work and contribution to improved medical treatment, a number of biomedicine researchers get the impression that they do socially undesirable work. A recent article in Chemiereport provides further information on this subject.

The discussion on the challenges the life sciences industry is facing in Vienna continued over drinks and snacks. The Vienna Life Science Report 2015/16 which was presented for the first time during this business meeting to the specialist public however reminded of the positive developments of the past two years and the future prospects.

Pictures on Flickr

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