EU’s Largest Platform for Medical, Biotech Research to Open in Czech Republic

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Researchers at the International Clinical Research Center (ICRC) in Brno, Czech Republic today announced they will collaborate with colleagues at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. to develop a clinical-and-research educational center that meets the “biggest needs” of 21st-century research.

Researchers at the International Clinical Research Center (ICRC) in Brno, Czech Republic today announced they will collaborate with colleagues at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. to develop a clinical-and-research educational center that meets the “biggest needs” of 21st-century research.

The new research cluster will strengthen Euro-U.S. collaboration in medical research and education – particularly in the areas of cardio- and neuro-vascular diseases, internal medicine, neurology and oncology. ICRC Brno, which also draws on substantial research experience derived from project work on the International Space Station 2 (ISS-2), will be located at St. Anne’s University Hospital. Some research-related projects will be conducted at Masaryk University’s Campus Bohunice.

“There will be collaborative studies conducted between Mayo and scientists in the Czech Republic,” said Viren Somers, M.D., PhD., a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. “At this time we already have an informal program that allows Czech physicians and engineers to train in my lab. We look forward to future cooperation with our colleagues in Brno.”

The project to develop ICRC Brno as a platform for leading medical- and biotech-oriented research is the result of this ongoing collaboration between Czech scientists and their counterparts at the Mayo Clinic, whose diagnostic specialties and research focus draw thousands of patients each year.

Mayo also offers medical and graduate research education, residencies and fellowships, health-care career programs and continuing education – and Czech researchers who trained in Rochester will use their experience to develop a model to introduce a new type of clinical research base to Brno, located squarely in the middle of the Czech Republic’s emerging biotech corridor.

“The ICRC Brno project will especially focus on what are perceived as the biggest needs of 21st century research,” said Radomil Novak, director, US West, CzechInvest. “In effect, we are establishing ICRC Brno as one of the largest platforms for medical and biotech-oriented research in the European Union.”

ICRC Brno is in part the brainchild of CzechInvest, an agency of the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Industry & Trade, whose services and development programs contribute to attracting foreign investment and developing Czech companies.

ICRC Brno’s team of international researchers will offer:

  •     customized research designed for specific projects;
  •     increased flexibility to meet the needs of clinical medicine and industry;
  •     significantly shortened development-and-testing process (time of acquiring reliable pilot data allowing submission of ‘the first manuscript in the field’ for publication and/or patent application.)

New to ICRC Brno’s approach are concepts of international scientific networking and a flexible laboratory tract system.

“The logistics of the ICRC and the basic principles are very similar to those used at ISS-2, said Tomas Kara, M.D., PhD., who trained at the Mayo Clinic and now heads the ICRC Brno project. “The new ICRC-ISS 2 concepts and logistics will result in the research process being shortened by 50 percent in comparison to that of existing research facilities.”

Included at ICRC Brno’s multi-functional center are next-generation clinical research facilities, a state-of-the-art cardiovascular clinical center, and a technology cluster.

Basic research, pre-clinical and clinical research projects will be performed in accordance with all E.U. and U.S. requirements and regulations for ethics, safety, quality and confidentiality.

New medical technologies and software development-and-testing will be performed in close collaboration with the University of Technology Brno and with the Institute of Scientific Instruments, where several technology clusters and incubators already exist. The Czech technological park in Brno will allow for subsequent high-tech industrial collaborations and development.

About CzechInvest

CzechInvest, the Investment and Business Development Agency, is an agency of the Ministry of Industry & Trade of the Czech Republic whose services and development programs contribute to attracting foreign investment and developing Czech companies. The agency is the sole organization that may submit applications for investment incentives to governing bodies, manage the agenda with related incentives, and manage the development of the entire system of investment support in the Czech Republic. CzechInvest also promotes the country abroad and acts as an intermediary between the European Union and small and medium-sized enterprises in implementing EU structural funds in the Czech Republic. All CzechInvest’s services are free of charge.

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Melissa Anthony