Issue 78, September 2016
bullet Innovation: Kenkodo Helps You Know Your Body Better
bullet Master of Science in Translational Medical Research at Heidelberg University

Translational Medicine: Integrating Medicine and Science 
Translational medicine, a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field, is described by Science Magazine as, "an effort to carry scientific knowledge from bench to bedside building on basic research advances and using them to develop new therapies or medical procedures." 
In Germany at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), scientists work to understand the molecular mechanisms of health and disease and how this can benefit patients. With the goal to develop new biomarkers, novel drugs, gene or cell therapies, MDC scientists use and develop state-of-the-art technologies. Their techniques include transgenic mice models to study specific diseases, sophisticated imaging techniques, high-throughput technologies, and computational biology. Wherever possible, these techniques are also used to analyze patient samples to identify unmet clinical needs and improve existing basic research. These "bench-to-bedside" and "bedside-to-bench" approaches require constant collaboration between basic researchers and medical partners. For this reason, MDC works very closely with the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), other health centers, and university hospitals throughout Germany. 

In 2013, MDC and Charité institutionalized their collaboration in translational medicine and launched the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. med. Erwin Böttinger, BIH provides a unique translational platform to transcend the boundaries of traditional disciplines and transform the way translational research is carried out.

Last year, Erwin Böttinger moved from New York back to Berlin, where he became the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). He assumed this position on November 1, 2015, and was also appointed professor of personalized medicine at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
After conducting research at numerous prestigious institutions in the U.S., such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Prof. Böttinger accepted a position at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, in 2004, where he became Director of the Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Prof. Böttinger was Director of the Biotechnology Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He lived and worked in the U.S. for almost 30 years after completing his medical studies at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen-Nuremberg in 1987.

In this GCRI-Interview, Prof. Böttinger shares how he became involved in translational research and how his experience researching and practicing in the U.S. influences his work in Berlin. He also addresses the biggest challenges in personalized medicine today and how the BIH transforms advances in biomedical research into benefits for patients. For more information about Prof. Böttinger and his work, please click here. To read the full interview, click here.
Source & Image: Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) 

OMEICOS shows translational medicine at its best: it translates nature's knowledge into medicine as well as academic research into products - for the health benefit of people.

The positive effect of omega-3 fatty acids for the cardiovascular system is well known. But so far, approaches to make them therapeutically effective have not been particularly successful due to the instability of their bioactive metabolites. To overcome this hurdle and to translate the benefit into effective medical treatment, OMEICOS Therapeutics was created as a spin-off from the Helmholtz-Institute Max-Delbrück-Centrum (MDC) in Berlin.

MDC researchers had identified the main metabolite of omega-3 fatty acids responsible for their antiarrhythmic effect and had managed, together with researchers from the University of Southwestern, Texas, to develop synthetic molecules that are equally potent as natural metabolites, but much more stable, making them suitable as orally-available therapeutics.

Financed by a strong investors syndicate, OMEICOS is now developing first-in-class small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, including atrial fibrillation (AF), and will conduct its first clinical trial in early 2017. Unlike other antiarrhythmic drugs, OMEICOS' compounds activate an endogenous cardio-protective molecular pathway that stabilizes heart rhythm. In addition, the compounds are expected to provide curative effects to diseased hearts by preventing electrical and structural remodeling, a common cause of heart disease and sudden cardiac death.

OMEICOS' proprietary platform has high potential for further development in additional therapeutic indications in the cardiovascular area as well as in chronic inflammatory diseases. For more information, click here. 
Source & Image: OMEICOS Therapeutics 


What happens inside your body when you start a fitness routine? How does a change in your diet affect your biochemistry? What can you do to get the best out of your body? In order to provide answers to these questions, Metabolomic Discoveries GmbH has developed Kenkodo, a personalized metabolomics testing service to help you know your body better.

Kenkodo connects a person's lifestyle to the biochemical state of the body. Metabolomics is at the cutting edge of biotechnology. For the first time, it is now possible to get a holistic view of a person's biochemistry, which is the inside mirror of a person's level of well-being. Metabolomics has proven its success in scientific research and with Kenkodo, Metabolomic Discoveries is now bringing this knowledge to the public.

The principle is easy. Kenkodo users take a drop of blood and send it in dried form by standard mail to the lab in Potsdam, Germany. At the same time, using the Kenkodo app, individuals record lifestyle data, such as information about their health, diet, exercise and mood. They then receive biochemical information and its correlation with lifestyle information. This allows Kenkodo users to draw conclusions about the effect of their lifestyle on their health.

"By measuring and monitoring your biochemistry at regular intervals, you can discover how your metabolism and your lifestyle interact," says Metabolomic Discoveries CEO Nicolas Schauer.

For more information, please click here.

If you are interested in investing in Kenkodo, please contact Metabolomic Discoveries CEO Nicolas Schauer at
Source & Image: Metabolomic Discoveries GmbH
Translational Medical Research focuses on the interface between experimental basic science and clinical medicine. The goal is to "translate" knowledge, mechanisms and techniques discovered by basic scientific research into new approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Translation in the reverse direction is also highly pertinent, namely the translation of clinical observations into novel research issues.

Recent far-reaching and dynamic developments in molecular and cellular biology have set high standards for the training of future clinicians capable of working in the translational research field. These developments dictate the need for scientists who are able to understand the rationale behind diagnosis and therapy, to define preconditions for using new molecular therapies on individual patients, and who are committed to translating scientific knowledge into clinical practice.

The Master of Science in Translational Medical Research program at Heidelberg University builds on these demands and systematically provides students with the knowledge and skills required to participate in translational medical research. Students can specialize in molecular oncology, neurobiology or vascular medicine. Future career opportunities may include employment in basic molecular and medical research centers, interdisciplinary translational comprehensive cancer centers, clinical study centers and teaching hospitals as well as in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

For more information, click here.
Source & Image: Heidelberg University