Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Immune-Mediated Diseases CIMD
The primary goal of the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence for Immune-Mediated Diseases is the translation of innovative ideas and identified targets into individualized therapies for immune-mediated diseases. In the medium term, the collaborating institutes want to bridge the existing gap from research on novel medications to what is actually available to patients.
In forward-looking projects, three life science Fraunhofer Institutes – Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME, Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI, and Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM – are pooling their expertise, thereby enabling efficient translation. In order to increase the value, networking with other Fraunhofer partner institutes outside the Life Science network, e.g. in the field of engineering and IT sciences, will be pursued. A substantial gain of knowledge in the pathophysiology of immune diseases will thus be generated, new diagnostic methods will be developed, innovative targets will be addressed, and new treatment categories in this therapeutic area will be introduced and established.
About eight percent of the population worldwide suffer from immune-mediated diseases. These conditions are very heterogeneous and can affect almost any organ or tissue. The therapeutic area of immune-mediated diseases includes, for example, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis vulgaris, the systemic disorder lupus erythematosus, atopic dermatitis and related allergy-induced conditions, but also chronic-inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases, chronic airway diseases, systemic sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. What many of these disorders have in common in terms of pathophysiology is a dysregulation of the immune system.
So far, immune diseases mostly have been treated symptomatically with drugs that non-specifically suppress the patient’s immune system (immunosuppressive therapy). A treatment that fights the cause of the disease and, ideally, is individualized and cures the patient is not available at present. Both on pathophysiological issues and on potential therapeutic target structures there is a great need for research, which the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence for Immune-Mediated Diseases (Fraunhofer CIMD) wants to address.