The Clinical Research Center Hannover (CRC Hannover), set up on the grounds of the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM, is the only medical research center of its kind in Germany. In close cooperation between the Fraunhofer ITEM, the Hannover Medical School, and the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, new drugs that have not yet been approved are tested there for safety (phase-I studies) and efficacy (phase-II studies).
Patient-oriented research and cohort studies are also performed at the CRC Hannover. An optimal infrastructure for clinical studies is available on an area of 6000 square meters. This includes 30 intensive-monitoring beds, another 20 beds for study participants, outpatient rooms, and laboratories for special diagnostics and research.
Research-intensive early-phase clinical trials can be performed in the CRC Hannover for the pharmaceutical industry at highest quality standards.
The partners’ goal in the area of biomedical research is to achieve the transition from basic to applied industry-oriented research by establishing a joint study center for early-phase clinical research.
The center was built on the grounds of the Fraunhofer ITEM. The costs of about 40 million euros – building costs and equipment – were shared by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (BMBF funds) and the Land Lower Saxony. In addition, Lower Saxony will bear the costs for initial funding during the first five years. Thus, the CRC Hannover is an important project of the Translational Research Alliance in Lower Saxony (TRAIN).
The three CRC Hannover partners – Fraunhofer ITEM, MHH, and HZI – are jointly using the study center to perform early-phase clinical studies to develop and license new drugs as well as for patient-oriented research. The CRC Hannover allows professional cooperation, personnel sharing, and the joint use of space, services, and equipment. State-of-the-art technology is available for diagnostic imaging. A steering committee staffed by the cooperation partners is responsible for the utilization strategy of the study center.
Studies on various diseases can be offered at the study center: The Fraunhofer ITEM is contributing many years of experience with airways diseases (COPD, allergies). So far, the Hannover Medical School has participated mainly in clinical studies in the advanced phases of drug development. It is now also contributing early-phase clinical studies on other diseases in the new center. The HZI Braunschweig studies mainly infectious diseases and their defence. With the CRC Hannover it has expanded its focus “Infection Research of Airways Diseases”.