The m4 Award supports research teams planning to found companies that will use their findings to develop innovative products, technologies and services for the medicine of the future. The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy has supported the competition, launched by BioM, the network organization of the biotechnology sector in Munich and Bavaria, since 2011. Each of the winning teams will receive funding of up to 500,000 euros and will benefit from expert support when founding their companies. This year, more than 30 research teams from throughout Bavaria entered the contest for the m4 Award. Four of the five winners of this year's competition are from TUM and will be supported by the TUM Start-up Advising team.
A nanoswitch for antibodies
Antibody-based immunotherapies promise great potential when it comes to treating tumor diseases. They attach themselves to special structures on the surface of the tumor and can for example attract the body's own immune cells to fight the tumor. Treatment can sometimes lead to an overstimulation of the immune system, resulting in severe side effects. One reason for this is that the target structures are not only present in the tumor, but also in healthy tissue. Now, the LOGIBODY team at the TUM Professorship for Biomolecular Nanotechnology and its mentor Prof. Hendrik Dietz, have developed an "on/off switch" for antibody immunotherapies. The nanoswitch recognizes tumor cells specifically and thus can ensure that immune cells are recruited to the tumor cells. This results in reduced activity in healthy tissue and thus to fewer side-effects. The molecular switch is made up of DNA which here no longer serves as a carrier of genetic information, but rather as a reliable building material for molecular machines on a nanometer scale. LOGIBODY exemplifies the innovation potential of molecular robotics.
Full story with descriptions of all successful TUM projects on the TUM news page.
Biomolecular Nanotechnolgy at TUM