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Hamburg-based biotech startup Provirex is well on its way to finding therapies and cures for life-threatening infectious diseases. Its specialty is error-free genome editing to cure diseases like AIDS. This may make it possible for the first time to permanently and precisely rid infected cells of HIV. Thanks to the investment by Bioventure and IFB Innovationsstarter GmbH in Provirex GmbH, a therapy hub can now be established in Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld.

© Catrin-Anja Eichinger: Dr. Erik Hoppe (Bioventure), Michael Westhagemann ( Senator for Economic Affairs), Prof. Dr. Joachim Hauber (Provirex), Katharina Fegebank (Science Senator), Nico Straub (Bioventure), Oliver Ahnfeld (Provirex) and Dr. Jan Chemnitz (Provirex)
© Catrin-Anja Eichinger: Dr. Erik Hoppe (Bioventure), Michael Westhagemann ( Senator for Economic Affairs), Prof. Dr. Joachim Hauber (Provirex), Katharina Fegebank (Science Senator), Nico Straub (Bioventure), Oliver Ahnfeld (Provirex) and Dr. Jan Chemnitz (Provirex)

HIV infections can be reversed thanks to Provirex

Provirex relies on highly specific designer recombinases (enzymes) that enable precise editing of the human genome. This technology can be used, for example, to reverse infections with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The startup is also developing new delivery methods for these enzymes that would allow for easier and direct administration via injection. This option would significantly expand the market and provide, for the first time, a tool for eradicating HIV worldwide. In addition, this is also a platform technology that is of interest for many other application areas and facilitates numerous other therapies. For this work, Provirex is currently setting up rented laboratory space in the Start-up Labs Bahrenfeld at the DESY campus.

The investment of Bioventure and IFB Innovationsstarter GmbH in Provirex serves to establish a therapy hub in Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld. The clean rooms for production planned here, with their increased regulatory safety requirements, will for the first time enable modern personalized medicine that will also be accessible to people living with HIV. On the one hand, this therapy hub will enable the further clinical development and commercial exploitation of recombinase technology, and on the other hand, it will put Hamburg in a leading position throughout Europe in the field of modern biomedicine.

"Finding a cure for HIV/AIDS is still one of the great medical challenges of our time. Provirex's promising therapeutic approach gives us hope for the future. Provirex is a great example of the successful path from basic research at the Leibniz Institute of Virology to clinical trials at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and the spin-off as a startup at the science location Hamburg. And it is also an award and a boost for infection research in Hamburg. I am very pleased that Provirex has found a place in our Science City."
Science Senator Katharina Fegebank

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