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Sartorius provides 500,000 euros to support research on pulmonary ventilation of COVID-19 patients

Göttingen, May 27, 2020

  • Knock-on funding to establish a junior research group at the University Medical Center in Göttingen, Germany, to study acute pulmonary failure
  • Crucial research needed to address the shortcomings of current concepts and therapy recommendations not directly applicable to treating severe lung failure caused by COVID-19 disease

Explains the ventilation technology in the UMG intensive care unit (from right): Prof. Konrad Meissner (Director of the Clinic for Anaesthesiology at the UMG) with Joachim Kreuzburg (Chairman of the Executive Board Sartorius) and Prof. Wolfgang Brück (Spokesman of the UMG Executive Board). Photo: sartorius/bühl

Sartorius, a leading international partner of life science research and the biopharmaceutical industry, is supporting the University Medical Center in Göttingen, Germany (UMG), with 500,000 euros for conducting research on COVID-19 lung disease. Over the next three years, the Department of Anesthesiology at UMG will use this funding to investigate the development and progression of SARS-CoV2-mediated lung disease and the effect of specific ventilation therapies on COVID-19 patients, among other studies. The University Medical Center Göttingen is considered a leading international medical facility for scientific research and further development in the prevention, diagnosis, therapy and follow-up care of acute pulmonary failure. It aims to set up a junior research group called “Akutes Lungenversagen” to study SARS-CoV2-mediated acute pulmonary failure, in relation to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

“The current coronavirus pandemic and comparable epidemics highlight the importance of treating severe lung disease correctly. Practical clinical research, conducted by a high-caliber junior research group, can make significant contributions to this field, further strengthening one of UMG’s focal areas of medicine, in which it excels,” commented Sartorius Executive Board Chairman and CEO Dr. Joachim Kreuzburg. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board of Sartorius AG announced that the company will support people and institutions that have been particularly hit by the pandemic crisis or that play an important role in coping with it.

For more than 20 years, acute pulmonary failure and ventilation medicine have been a major focus of research at the Department of Anesthesiology of the UMG. This is why the expertise available at this clinic is in high demand worldwide in light of the current pandemic. Since there is little systematic data on SARS-CoV2-mediated disease, scientists and clinicians are working intensively on studies to discover the appropriate diagnostics and therapy for acute pulmonary failure caused by COVID-19. This is where the UMG junior research group will come in, which can rely on established structures and experienced mentors to facilitate its investigations.

“So far, available concepts and therapy recommendations for acute pulmonary failure could not be adopted seamlessly to treat COVID-19 pulmonary disease. Therefore, this research is essential to facilitate appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations for seriously ill COVID-19 patients. With this donation, Sartorius is providing us with crucial funding for additional research opportunities," emphasized Dr. Wolfgang Brück, Professor and Executive Speaker of the Board of the University Medical Center in Göttingen. 

“Over the next three years, we aim to set up the required foundation for a junior research group [at the UMG]. The research project at the Department of Anesthesiology pursues the objective of establishing a leading role in conducting multicentric clinical studies through internationally networked basic and translational research. Sartorius' donation not only enables us to further develop excellent young scientists, who may thereby eventually qualify to join programs such as the Heisenberg Program of the German Research Foundation (DFG), thus creating long-term research prospects at the University Medical Center in Göttingen," said Dr. Konrad Meissner, Professor and Director of the Department of Anesthesiology at the UMG.

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