TÜBİTAK’s MAM Life Sciences unit is critical in transferring its knowledge in fundamental fields such as biochemistry and molecular biology to many application areas such as vaccines, drugs, disease diagnosis and treatment.

In line with Turkey’s needs in this area, significant momentum has been created since 2014 in the establishment of research infrastructures and the development of product-oriented projects under the leadership of TUBITAK.

First biosimilar drug project completed last year

In particular, the first biosimilar drug project from cell to drug was completed last year, in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry, under the leadership of TÜBİTAK and MAM in the development and production of biotechnological drugs.

In this context, an area ready for the purchase of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) was established, which will set an example in Turkey and will primarily support small-scale production. At the TÜBİTAK MAM Gebze Campus, the “MEDIBİYO” facility, which has the capacity to produce biotechnological drugs and vaccines in compliance with the GMP conditions and has a pilot scale production capacity that can support many industrial establishments in Turkey, has been made ready for operation.

Production will be started in line with the demands.

The center, which currently has a pioneering infrastructure, plans to serve the sector for biotechnological drug production. Production at the facility will begin in line with the demands of the industry and pharmaceutical companies.

The center, which was implemented in Turkey with the aim of establishing a high-tech place where biotechnological drug and vaccine development, production, testing, quality control and preclinical researches can be carried out on a pilot scale using entirely domestic resources, is aimed to create a bridge between research and industrial production processes of biopharmaceuticals.

Studies on cancer treatment continue

In MEDIBİYO, studies on drugs for cancer treatment will also be carried out.

TÜBİTAK MAM Life Sciences conducts research in the field of medical biotechnology in its various units. In this context, studies continue for the production of personalized wound dressings with three-dimensional bioprinting technology, the development of theranostic molecules for diagnosis and treatment in solid tumors, and the development of a Kovid-19 and CD19 targeted CAR-T cell therapy system.

In addition, it is aimed to develop a 3D lung cancer model for biomarker-based lung cancer early diagnosis and screening and drug screening studies. The intersection of molecular biology, chemistry and materials, such as modified tissue engineering strategies based on cellular therapy in bone repair, nanoparticle-based molecular targeted colon and lung cancer therapy, development of new dendritic nanostructures that are targeted gene and drug carriers in colon cancer therapy, development of hemostatic products and tissue adhesive products. Projects in many fields continue.

International agreement in the field of biotechnology

On the other hand, TÜBİTAK, for the establishment of the new International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, which will contribute to Turkey’s international visibility in the field of biotechnology, was formed by a consortium of more than 60 countries in South Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It started preliminary studies by making all necessary agreements with the Technology Center (ICGEB). The center will carry out its work within the body of TÜBİTAK MAM.

After Italy, South Africa, India and China, this center aims to be the leading center for critical research issues such as vaccines and drugs for the biotechnology ecosystem in Eastern Europe and the Middle East region in the world.

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