Research for human health is the focus of the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM : both under aspects of preventive medicine – with studies and risk assessments in environmental and occupational toxicology and consumer protection – and with regard to the development of diagnostic techniques and innovative therapy approaches – with investigations in drug research and development. Research activities and services offered thus range from studies in the areas of occupational and environmental toxicology and consumer protection to pre-clinical and clinical drug research and development, from allergy and asthma research to the assessment and registration of chemicals, biocides and pesticides. For more than 30 years already, the institute has been successfully engaged in contract research for customers from industry and public authorities.
The respiratory tract as a target organ is a focus of research at the Fraunhofer ITEM. In in-vitro and in-vivo models, gaseous substances and aerosols can be studied for their toxic and carcinogenic effects. Methods of biochemistry, molecular biology, immunotoxicology and histopathology are used to elucidate mechanisms of action. For the registration of pharmaceuticals for the indications allergy, asthma and COPD, we conduct clinical studies phases I-II in compliance with GCP guidelines, managed by highly qualified physicians. The effects of occupationally relevant inhalable substances and of environmental aerosols are also studied using different experimental approaches. To the clinical department, the comprehensive expertise and long years of experience of the aerosol technologists at the Fraunhofer ITEM are an essential prerequisite. The know-how we have at hand on the aerolization of substances and on the deposition and kinetics of inhaled substances is also used to develop pharmaceutical aerosols administered by inhalation.
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