3. Juni 2004

THE IMPACTFACTOR The Regular Campus Newsletter


  1. Chairman’s Welcome
  2. Campus Facts & Figures
  3. Campus Organizations
  4. News & Events

1. Chairman’s Welcome by Dr. Michael Schaude

„At the general board meeting on June 3rd, 2004, it was my pleasure and honour to be elected chairman of the Campus Vienna Biocenter association following Prof. Alexander von Gabain after two very active and successful years in this position.

Prof. Gabain, CEO of the Intercell AG, and his board colleagues Prof. Schweizer, Prof. Schweyen and Dr. Zacherl have initiated the concept of consolidation of the institutes and companies located at the Campus in the third district. Together with Prof. Renée Schröder, vice chairman, I am very much looking forward to this challenging new responsibility.

We have worked out a new Campus concept for the next 18 months which has been presented to and accepted by the board members which comprises ambitious goals in selected topics we regard of primary importance.

While for myself, coming from industry and being an entrepreneur, public relations, internal consolidation of the Campus and uniform external presentation of the members of the Campus are the main topics for the first months as chairman, Prof. Renée Schröder, who was awarded the Wittgenstein Price 2003 and became female Scientist of 2002, will see the scientific reputation of the Campus as the main focus of her activities.

Medium term core goals of the activities by the Campus association are the structuring and design of the Campus offering physical junctions between buildings, green space, meeting points which will open new ways and means of communication for the people working on the Campus also in the figurative sense.

Long-term it is our strategy to form an internationally renown Campus which attracts scientists from all over the world, new business relationships and partnerships and thus draws the attention of investors and sponsors.

I am convinced that the tremendous potential present at this Campus together with the right strategy and the commitment of all members will result in a variety of benefits for all the organisations situated at this Campus in scientific and commercial aspects and in human relations which are the basis of all success.“

Dr. Michael Schaude, Chairman

2. Campus Facts & Figures

The Campus Vienna Biocenter is Austria’s leading center of research and development in the life science. Numerous groups are doing fundamental research into cellular processes in man, animals and plants. The Campus currently comprises:

  • The Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP)
  • 8 Biomedical Chairs from the University of Vienna and the Viennese Medical


  • 2 Institutes of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • 8 Biotech companies
  • A College for the education of biotechnology technicians
  • An Agency for science communication

    Today around 1000 workers from almost 40 different nations work at the Campus. Research results originating at Campus Vienna Biocenter are published in Nature, Science, The Lancet and other leading peer-reviewed journals. Over 250 publications annually bear witness to their competence in ground-breaking research. Furthermore, scientific and financial analysts regard the Campus as one of Europe’s leading biotechnology center of excellence.

The comprehensive range of life science services available on the Campus make an invaluable contribution to this process. Joint facilities and programmes include:

  • International graduate school
  • Top class weekly seminar series with leading scientists
  • Organization of international biomedical conferences
  • Anniversary recess of the senior scientists
  • Max Perutz Library
  • Shared NMR, mass spectroscopy and many more instruments

    The Campus Vienna Biocenter traces its history back well over 15 years by now. Milestones during those years were:

  • 1988 Start of the IMP
  • 1992 Seven University Departments join the Campus
  • 1998 Intercell, a spin off of the IMP and the University is founded
  • 2001 New biotech building completed
  • 2001 Start of the Department of Structural Biology
  • 2001 Seven further Biotech Companies move to the Campus
  • 2002 The institutes of the Academy take up their activities
  • 2003 College for the education of biotechnology technicians implemented
  • 2004 Opening of the new building Campus Vienna Biocenter 2

    3. Campus Organizations

    Affiris GmbH

    is a new biotec company located at the Campus Vienna Biocenter. Based on company specific technology platforms Affiris develops therapeutics for the medication of human diseases that are currently treated in a non satisfying way. The main focus of Affiris is Alzheimer ́s disease a neurodegenerative disorder that effects about 120 000 patients in Austria and about 12 million worldwide. Affiris was founded in November 2003. In May 2004 the company moved into the new Vienna Biocenter 2 and has currently ten employees. Soon more at: <http://www.affiris.com/>

    C Gieffers, Christian
    T 0720 102 646 Ex 02
    E christian.gieffers@affiris.com

Axon Neuroscience Forschungs- und Entwicklungs GmbH

is a biopharmaceutical company which dedicates itself to developing new therapeutics and diagnostics for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. The company is based at the Campus Vienna Biocenter and holds a subsidiary located in Bratislava / Slovakia. The scientific staff currently consists of about 30 people specialized in biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology. Axon Neuroscience GmbH has discovered and validated a new family of therapeutic target molecules for Alzheimer’s disease using a newly developed animal model. A fully operational drug screening and validation platform devoted to the validated target has been set up and first lead compounds currently entering optimization phase are under development. More at <http://www.axon-neuroscience.at/>

C Smrzka, Oskar
T 796 68 98 Ex 18
E smrzka@axon-neuroscience.at

Bender MedSystems GmbH

The Business concept of Bender MedSystems GmbH focuses on the development, production and worldwide commercial exploitation of biomedical research reagents and diagnostics for scientific exploration of immunological defense mechanisms during pathological processes and disease state. Bender MedSystems’ products are ELISA, Instant ELISA, Fluorescent Bead Immunoassays, monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins. Bender MedSystems is actively pursuing product development in the research fields of adhesions molecules, cytokines, tumor biology and apoptosis. The company aims to become a top 10 supplier in the field of immune mediators with an annual growth of 25 % and a current export rate of 93 %. Bender MedSystems sells its products directly in Austria and the USA and via distribution partners in the rest of the world. The company was founded in 1998 and has a current staff of 32 employees. More at <http://www.bendermedsystems.com/>

C Rech-Weichselbraun, Irene
T 796 40 40 Ex 130
E rech@bendermedsystems.com

Biovertis AG

was founded in September 2003 as a spin-off from Intercell AG. It develops drugs for treatment of infections caused by pathogenic bacteria displaying resistance to commonly used antibiotics. Biovertis employs a multi-disciplinary approach combining the human immune system with bioinformatic structure prediction, microbial knock-out genetics and structure determination (by NMR) as selection filters in order to identify druggable target proteins. Subsequent structure-based hit identification and lead optimization is done in a novel chemical space by combination of in silico and empirical approaches, ensuring the rapid discovery of novel lead compounds on validated drug targets that soon will be tested in pre- clinical models and clinical studies. Biovertis (current staff 9 members) received funding from public institutions like AWS, WWFF and FFF. The company is currently in a fund raising status in order to increase their resources. More at <http://www.biovertis.com/>

C Staffler, Günther
T 798 93 03 Ex 130
E gstaffler@biovertis.com

FH Campus Vienna – Biotechnologie

The Study Course (Studiengang) Biotechnology of the Fachhochschule (Technical College) FH-Campus Wien is a private teaching and research organization. The study course adds to the Campus Vienna Biocenter an alternative full-time study programme in molecular biology with a medical and pharmaceutical focus. The course provides two years of basic studies, one year of specialisation in biomedicine, drug synthesis, or bioinformatics, followed by one semester of practical course and one semester of Diploma thesis. The study course has started two years ago and takes every year 50 students after entrance exams. The study course is located at present in Vienna Biocenter 1 but will move in autumn to Vienna Biocenter 2. The course has three permanent staff plus a number of part-time lecturers from academia and industry. More at <http://www.campusfavoriten.at/studiengaenge/biotech/>

C Heberle-Bors, Erwin
T 4277 546 Ex 03
E erwin.heberle-bors@univie.ac.at

GENOSENSE Diagnostics GmbH

is a company specialised in preventive genetic diagnostics and has committed itself to adopt the knowledge of molecular medicine to enable the vision of individual, preventive and patient-tailored medicine. Genosense was founded in July 2001 and has 8 employees. Genosense offers a unique line of preventive genomic diagnostic profiles. Each profile focuses on a carefully selected set of polymorphisms associated with particular diseases or physiologic imbalances. Genosense does not only provide the genetic test results: highly capable medical experts translate the results into a clinical language and assist the customer with established support regarding their medical interpretation. In addition, Genosense provides academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies with turnkey solutions for research-based projects. More at <http://www.genosense.com/>

C Bürk, Erika
T 253 0 253 Ex 24
E erika.buerk@genosense.com

Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology (GMI)

was established in December 2001 at various temporary locations whilst the new institute is being constructed at the Campus Vienna Biocenter. Research at the GMI has already begun and in September 2005 the new laboratories will be ready. At that time a number of junior research groups will be established in addition to the senior groups of the GMI. Currently 19 scientists and two administrative staff members work for the institute. The institute focuses its research on two major areas, namely the genetic and epigenetic plasticity of the plant genome and on the nature and cross talk of plant signal transduction pathways in response to different stimuli. More at <http://www.gmi.oeaw.ac.at/>

C Hirt, Heribert
T 4277 546 Ex 12
E heribert.hirt@univie.ac.at

Institute for Molecular Biotechnology GmbH (IMBA)

was founded by the Austrian Academy of Sciences to promote research in molecular biology and genetics. Research focuses on investigating how animals develop and function, and on exploring the molecular mechanisms of human diseases. IMBA consists of Senior Scientist groups and independent Junior Principal Investigator groups and has 84 members. The group of Josef Penninger focuses on molecular medicine, Barry Dickson’s on axon guidance and target recognition, Vic Small’s on cell motility and guidance and Jürgen Knoblich’s on asymmetric cell division in Drosophila. Javier Martinez who recently joint IMBA as junior scientist focuses on mechanistic aspects of RNA interference in mammalian cells . More at <http://www.imba.oeaw.ac.at>

C de Zwaan, Antje
T 797 30 Ex 454
E antje.dezwaan@imba.oeaw.ac.at

The Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP)

is a basic research facility devoted to the understanding of the biology of development and disease, in particular cancer. It was opened at its present site in 1988 and formed the nucleus for what is today known as the Campus Vienna Biocenter. The IMP with its approximately 200 members of staff from 28 nations is organized into twelve research groups and seven service departments. Main areas of research include developmental biology, cell cycle control, cell differentiation, oncogenesis, chromosome biology, and bioinformatics. Research results are published in peer-reviewed journals after they have been screened for patentability. The average output is 80-100 papers per year. An international PhD-Program, jointly organized with the University of Vienna and IMBA, attracts young scientists from all over the world. The IMP’s main sponsor is Boehringer Ingelheim International with headquarters in Germany. Scientific discoveries from the IMP are at the disposal of Boehringer Ingelheim and may provide the basis for innovative therapies of the future. More at <http://www.imp.univie.ac.at/>

C Hurtl, Heidemarie
T 797 30 Ex 358
E hurtl@nt.imp.univie.ac.at

Intercell AG

is a biotechnology company that focuses on the development of novel vaccines against infectious diseases. Intercell integrates latest stage immunology and vaccine technologies with the aim to use only the essential components for each novel vaccine. To achieve this, the natural human immune response is taken as a guide to determine the most effective vaccine composition. In a comparatively short period of time, Intercell has developed into a prestigious research and development center, employing a staff of 130 from more than 12 different nations. The most advanced products are a prophylactic vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis, that has successfully undergone a Phase II clinical study, and a therapeutic Hepatitis C vaccine. Intercell has also developed two technological programs – the Antigen Identification Program and the adjuvants program “Immunizers”. The company is financed by venture capital and succeeded in raising € 100 Mio. since becoming operational in 1998. More at <http://www.intercell.com/>

C Wieser, Katharina
T 206 20 Ex 303
E kwieser@intercell.com

PR&D – Public Relations for Research & Development

is an agency dedicated to science communication. Since its establishment in 2000 the agency provides support in four main areas – media work, copy editing, graphic design and consulting services. At the clients disposal for media work are individual connections to over 2500 scientific and commercial journalists worldwide. An additional 8600 contacts are made available through trade-specific news services. Understanding of the clients’ technical and scientific activities reflects in PR&D’s graphic designs, which sets the agency apart from other graphic studios. Clients of PR&D include commercial enterprises as well as public research facilities and academic / industrial networks. Customers include the Austrian Science Fund FWF, the Vienna City Hospital, the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Reed Exhibitions or the Invest Equity investment bank. More at <http://www.prd.at/>

C Unterberger, Ulrike T 505 70 44
E unterberger@prd.at

University of Vienna

and their institutes at the Campus Vienna Biocenter perform biological research of international repute and aim to educate their students to develop into outstanding scientists. The activities of the institutes of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna will in the future be fused together as the Max F. Perutz Laboratories. This organisation will implement the new university reforms. More than 400 people research, study, work and teach at the university institutes. Approximately 300 of these colleagues are students and post-docs, financed by research grants. The university institutes came to the Vienna Biocenter in 1992 with the objective of establishing a center of excellence in the life sciences. More at <http//www.at.embnet.org/vbc/>

C Schröder, Renée
T 4277 546 Ex 90
E renee.schroeder@univie.ac.at

C Schweyen, Rudolf
T 4277 546 Ex 04
E rudolf.schweyen@univie.ac.at

VBC Genomics Bioscience Research GmbH

was founded as a spin-off from the University of Vienna in 1999. VBC-Genomics Bioscience Research GmbH has rapidly gained a strong position within the Austrian biotech scene, based on its success as service provider in oligonucleotide synthesis and custom sequencing. In research, the company has focused on the development of diagnostic assays based on microarrays. A technical platform for amplification and analysis of DNA has been established and validated in clinical studies. In addition, the company has developed a unique protein microarray that is certified as in vitro diagnostic device in Europe. In this test, a huge number of disease-eliciting allergens can be analyzed simultaneously to determine a patient’s antibody reactivity profile to improve and personalize the treatment. More at <http://www.vbc- genomics.com>

C Hiller, Reinhard
T 796 65 72 Ex 41
E reinhard.hiller@vbc-genomics.com

4. News & Events

Campus Award

The best PhD thesis at the Campus Vienna Biocenter will be honoured with a new award in 2004. This is an activity of the Campus Vienna Biocenter Association. A call for applications inviting all students, who completed their PhD in the academic year 2003 / 2004 to participate, will be published soon.

New Curriculum – First Graduates

The first students have graduated from the new molecular biology curriculum. Isabel Gruber and Stefanie Tiefenböck have passed their diploma exams on 6th July 2004. They are the first two students to complete this course of studies. This curriculum started in the fall of 1999. We congratulate and wish them much success for their scientific careers.

“Ciao Campus”

Corriere Della Sera and Finanza e Mercati – two leading Italian newspapers – reported about the Campus Vienna Biocenter on 12th July 2004. This coverage was the immediate result of a visit by a group of Italian journalists to the Campus last week. (Clips available at PR&D)

IMP Manages Mighty “MitoCheck”

The European Commission is providing € 8.5 Mio over the next four years to MitoCheck, the largest integrated research project on cell cycle control within the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) of the European Union, coordinated by the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP). Leading scientists from eleven research institutes, universities and industry in Austria, Germany, UK, Italy and France join forces in this scheme.

C Sun, Yan
T 797 30 Ex 481
E sun@imp.univie.ac.at


The Campus Vienna Biocenter Association invites to a summer opening get- together:

Date: Wednesday , 21st July 2004 starting 5 pm
Place: Campus Vienna Biocenter 2, Ground Floor and terrace in the Plaza Floor (access via fire stairs)

Tuppy Symposium

Prof. Hans Tuppy is one of the most renown person in the Austrian life science. He was Federal Minister for Science, President of both the Academy of Sciences and the Austrian Science Fund FWF as well as Rector of the University of Vienna. He also was instrumental in laying the foundations for the Campus Vienna Biocenter.

In order to mark the occasion of his 80th birthday the Campus Vienna Biocenter Association is supporting a symposium in his honour at the Campus.

Date: 8th October 2004, 2 pm Place: To be announced

Seminar Current Technologies in Proteomics

During calendar week 42 (11th – 17th October) the mass spectrometry unit from the university and the IMP will organize a one-day seminar on current technologies in proteomics. The seminar will offer information about biological applications which can be addressed by mass spectrometry. Furthermore, important criteria for sample preparation will be discussed that ensure a successful mass spectrometric analysis. The talks will be given by invited speakers and by colleagues from both mass spectrometry units.

C Mechtler, Karl
T 797 30 Ex 588
E mechtler@nt.imp.univie.ac.at

More Campus News, Comments, Suggestions?

Please let us know at contact@prd.at