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New Spin-offs of Helmholtz Zentrum München

Three new spin-offs emerged from Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) in 2013: SurgVision, Trianta Immunotherapies and Dosimetrics. Thanks to successful innovation management, the Center has transformed excellent research findings into practical applications and given new impulses to the areas of clinical imaging, immunotherapy and radiation dosimetry.

Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos, Prof. Dolores Schendel, Gerd Ledtermann (Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München)

Launched in August 2013, the start-up SurgVision B.V. develops systems that enable live molecular imaging during surgical procedures. Fluorescence staining of tumor tissue enables surgeons to better discriminate between healthy and cancerous tissue during the operation and to remove the tumor tissue more effectively. Especially in tumor surgery, such imaging techniques provide valuable optimization potential. An initial clinical study on image-guided surgical procedures for breast cancer patients is nearing its conclusion. Currently, additional indications are being evaluated. This spin-off is based on the research results of the Leibniz Prize recipient Professor Vasilis Ntziachristos, director of the Institute of Biological and Medical Imaging at Helmholtz Zentrum München, in collaboration with the University Medical Center Groningen. A license agreement between HMGU and SurgVision was signed in September 2013.

Trianta Immunotherapies GmbH, founded in September 2013, develops immunotherapies to treat cancer. By means of adoptive T-cell therapies and personalized vaccines derived from dendritic cells, the immune system is stimulated to act against cancer cells. Trianta is based on many years’ intensive research and development work by the director of the Institute of Molecular Immunology, Professor Dolores Schendel and her team at HMGU, partially in collaboration with Professor Thomas Blankenstein at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch (MDC). An academic Phase I trial for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is currently underway in collaboration with the university hospital of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München within the framework of the joint Clinical Cooperation Group ‘Immunotherapy’.

Also in September 2013, Dosimetrics GmbH was founded as producer and service provider for personal dose monitoring (dosimetry) of radiation. The newly developed OSL (optically stimulated luminescence) technology enables fast and easy determination and readout of ionizing radiation in individuals. Dosimetrics provides this convenient work-safety service to companies whose employees are exposed to radiation sources. This spin-off is based on the extensive research expertise of the radiation dose monitoring service at HMGU, the largest personal dosimeter monitoring facility in Europe.

The spin-offs are supported and promoted by the Department of Innovation Management at HMGU together with the technology transfer partner Ascenion GmbH. Ascenion holds an equity stake in the spin-offs SurgVision and Trianta Immunotherapies.

Just recently, Helmholtz Zentrum München closed license agreements with Trianta and Dosimetrics. These secure the spin-offs exclusive global rights to patents and technical expertise. This ensures successful further development of scientific projects so that the knowledge gained can benefit society as quickly as possible.

With the new start-up companies, Helmholtz Zentrum München has continued its successful series of spin-offs. At present there are 15 spin-off companies of Helmholtz Zentrum München with currently circa 400 employees.

Further Information

As German Research Center for Environmental Health,Helmholtz Zentrum München pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München has about 2,200 staff members and is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich. Helmholtz Zentrum München is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 34,000 staff members.

Innovation management at Helmholtz Zentrum München

More information about the service provider Dosimetrics can be found here

The team led by Professor Schendel has acquired public funding to finance early development work, including an m4 Award of the Bavarian Ministry for Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology and an EXIST program grant of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.


Scientific contact
Dr. Annette Janz, Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH), Innovationsmanagement, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg - Tel. +49 89 3187-4271-