The working group Cellular Bioprocessing develops future-oriented platforms for the collection, preparation, conservation and distribution of bioreagents and clinical samples for worldwide networks. This includes optimized processes for the production and preparation of samples and their cryopreservation. In this context, the Fraunhofer IBMT built up a global HIV cryobank of safety level S3 within the framework of the global initiative for the development of a HIV vaccine ("Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery – CAVD") which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the State Government of Saarland. The laboratory areas and the connected cryobank for bioreagents are subject to a certified quality assurance program which monitors the work according to the guidelines of "Good Clinical Laboratory Practice" (GCLP).
In addition to this, manual work sequences and cell-based assays are being automated and validated up to certification under suitable quality management systems. The production, for example, of HIV-1 pseudoviruses or infectious HIV-1 clones takes place in a fully automated system for the cultivation of eukaryotic cells, or cell-based tests such as neutralization and immune assays are being automated.
The working group Cellular Bioprocessing thus offers a platform for the further development and clinical testing of vaccines and new therapies. This biobank also serves as a cryorepository for a German-African joint project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for the investigation of the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. The scientists in Germany and Africa want to find out how widespread and resistant the pathogens are on the African continent, and what can be done to stem this deadly hazard.