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From the Publisher
August 29, 2012   
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The main focus of this issue of The Polish Science Voice is health and we have interviews with two researchers managing projects that aim to deliver new treatment methods.

Wojciech ¦więszkowski, a researcher from the Faculty of Materials Engineering at the Warsaw University of Technology, manages a project that aims to develop bioimplants for cancer patients with missing bone tissue. The bioimplants are designed to promote the regeneration of bone tissue damaged by tumors.

This interdisciplinary project is being carried out by a research consortium of universities of technology and medical institutes benefiting from over zl.27 million in funds provided by the National Center for Research and Development (NCBiR) under the European Union’s Innovative Economy Operational Program. This amount accounts for 85 percent of the total cost of the Bioimplant project.

The new bioimplant will combine biological material—human stem cells—with synthetic material. It will last only as long as it takes for the tissue to regenerate, that is for several months, ¦więszkowski says. Then the implant will “disappear” from the place where it has been inserted.

“We hope that after 2013 our technology will be so developed that obtaining permission for clinical trials will be just a formality,” ¦więszkowski says. “Of course, we do not rule out performing such surgical procedures earlier in an exceptional situation if we get permission from the Ethics Committee. We are aware that there are many patients waiting for such treatment.”

In another interview, Piotr Borowicz, Ph.D., director of the Institute of Biotechnology and Antibiotics (IBA) in Warsaw, tells The Polish Science Voice about research into developing two types of manmade insulin and a package of vaccines. The Institute of Biotechnology and Antibiotics is carrying out the project together with the University of Gdańsk and the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

This is a seven-year applied project that aims to develop a range of innovative biopharmaceuticals for both people and animals. “It is not our goal to make scientific discoveries worthy of a Nobel Prize,” Borowicz says. “Instead, we want to develop specific market products for the healthcare sector.”

The project has an impressive co-financing budget of zl.90 million under the Innovative Economy Operational Program. Will this amount be enough to make sure that innovative pharmaceuticals and vaccines hit the market?
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