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BioMed X Institute Today Announces Two New Research Groups in Autoimmunity and Drug Delivery in Collaboration with Janssen

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  • BioMed X Institute to start two new research programs in the field of autoimmune diseases and drug delivery
  • New research groups in Heidelberg to examine protective tissue factors in autoimmune diseases and the translocation of complex macromolecules across the intestinal epithelial barrier

HEIDELBERG, Germany, August 02, 2021 / B3C newswire / -- German independent research institute BioMed X announces today the start of two new research projects with Janssen Research & Development, LLC, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The start of these projects represents a major milestone in the strategic partners’ successful collaboration and addresses two challenging new research areas. Both collaborations were facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

The new research group PTA (‘Protective Tissue Factors in Autoimmune Diseases’) is led by Mojca Frank Bertoncelj, MD, PhD, who is joining BioMed X from the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland. Her research group will develop new approaches to combat chronic inflammatory diseases. The aim is to identify protective factors in the tissue microenvironment of patients with auto-inflammatory diseases with the overall goal of discovering and validating novel drug targets in these diseases.

Dr. Mojca Frank Bertoncelj, new group leader of team PTA: “We aim to develop a 3D human joint-in-a-dish platform that closely mimics the inflamed joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis utilizing diverse methodologies including single-cell omics, gene-editing, bio-scaffold manufacturing, and stem to adult joint cell differentiation. This innovative platform will enable high-throughput testing and discovery of novel joint-protective therapeutics.”

The second research group TMI (‘Translocation of Complex Macromolecules Across the Intestinal Epithelial Barrier’) led by Kyungbo Kim, PhD, strives to discover novel transport mechanisms in the human intestinal tract that could be used for oral delivery of various macromolar therapeutic modalities. Dr. Kim is joining BioMed X from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, USA.

“Our mission is to characterize the human intestinal epithelial barrier and thereby gain insights into how macromolecular therapeutics may be orally delivered. The biology of the barrier will be explored at the cellular and molecular level.”, says Dr. Kyungbo Kim, new group leader of team TMI.

The Founder and Managing Director of the BioMed X Institute, Dr. Christian Tidona, adds: “At BioMed X, we achieve our ambitious research goals by recruiting truly outstanding, open-minded scientists from around the world who have very different and complementary expertise. With Dr. Frank Bertoncelj and Dr. Kim, our BioMed X Institute has been able to engage two exceptionally talented scientists who will enable the development of a new generation of targeted therapies.”

Further information about both research programs and the institute can be found on the website of the BioMed X Institute at www.bio.mx.


About BioMed X
BioMed X is an independent research institute located on the campus of the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Together with our partners, we identify big biomedical research challenges and provide creative solutions by combining global crowdsourcing with local incubation of the world’s brightest early-career research talents. Each of the highly diverse research teams at BioMed X has access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure and is continuously guided by experienced mentors from academia and industry. At BioMed X, we combine the best of two worlds – academia and industry – and enable breakthrough innovation by making biomedical research more efficient, more agile, and more fun.



Begoña Fonseca Vázquez
PR / Science Communicator
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Keywords: Humans; Autoimmunity; Autoimmune Diseases; Inflammation; Biological Factors; Protective Factors; Drug Discovery; Arthritis, Rheumatoid; Intestines; Intestinal Mucosa; Macromolecular Substances; Drug Delivery Systems; Pharmaceutical Preparations; Biomedical Research; Germany


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