Red Biotechnologies Pick up on Long Tradition of Prague Research. This Year‘s Imaginary Highlight Is Prague.bio Conference
Medical sciences and pharmacy. Two fields that have long dominated the topics of Prague meetings. At the same time, these are the areas that, according to innovative Prague, dominate Prague's development in biotechnology and research. It is in the Czech capital where almost 70% of all scientific and research biotechnology projects in the Czech Republic are implemented. This is one of the reasons why biotechnology is the focus that Prague has chosen to follow for its further strategic development.
Biotechnologies, i.e. technologies that, according to the UN definition, use living organisms to produce or modify products and processes, is a sector with high added value. The so-called red biotechnologies, i.e. those that are used in medicine and pharmacy, are very successful in our country. Prague is the place that has a long tradition in both fields, presented by personalities such as Professor Holý (invention of anti-HIV drugs) and Professor Wichterle (contact lenses), with modern approaches, know-how and the existence of diverse start-ups and investment funds.
The future of biotechnologies progress in Prague is secured by several institutes with top facilities, which are established as part of Prague universities or the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. In 2016, six research institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and two faculties of Charles University established a joint BIOCEV research facility for more than 500 scientists. The centre deals purely with biomedicine, development of new drugs and other projects in the field of biotechnology.
However, the success of Prague is not only demonstrated by the number of excellent research facilities, but also by several groundbreaking projects that Prague scientists have recently come up with. With the help of artificial intelligence, the Aireen medical device will detect the onset of Alzheimer's disease or of diabetes by scanning an eye retina. The Floxgen tool then literally reads human DNA and detects irregularities in it. Czech brains have also managed to develop a new drug called Lutetium 177 for cancer patients, which targets cancer cells directly and avoids healthy tissues.
The treatment is thus much less invasive compared to other currently used methods. Caelestinus, the first Central European medical incubator, has been contributing towards the fame of the Czech medicine already two years. After the first very successful round, registration for the next year started in 2023. The task of the incubator, supported by the Prague Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM), is to help innovative companies and individuals develop their ideas, apply for financial support and connect them with health-tech experts, investors or potential clients.
The recently established Prague.bio cluster also aims to connect all these players. In addition, it brings together universities, research institutions and cooperates directly with the local government. The cluster should not only support the birth of new ideas, but also lead them to successful implementation. In addition, the first year of the Prague.bio conference should serve to strengthen cooperation between science and business. With the support of the government, it will take place on 26 September in Prague's Liechtenstein Palace and will welcome industry representatives not only from Central Europe, but also from other countries around the world. In addition to lectures of experts in the field of pharmacy, the conference will also include a panel discussion and presentations of promising projects.