(Vienna, 22 September 2021) Hendrik Jan Ankersmit, consultant and research group leader at the Department of Thoracic Surgery, took up a professorship (§ 99 Abs. 4). in the subject field thoracic surgery on 1 September 2021. The main focus of his research work is translational surgical research, which has led to publications in journals such as Nature Communications, The Lancet, Circulation, European Heart Journal and Basic Research in Cardiology. Over the course of his career, Ankersmit has discovered and mentored many medical and scientific talents. His working group has successfully implemented the "from bench to bedside" principle on many occasions.
Pharmaceutical product development
Ankersmit also has extensive experience in pharmaceutical product development. Under his leadership, AposecTM, the secretome of stressed white blood cells, was brought to clinical maturity as an Investigational Medicinal Product (IMP). This is a new pharmacological substance group within the group of biologics. Ankersmit explains: "The intellectual property of AposecTM is protected by several patent families worldwide. The IMP is produced in compliance with GMP at the blood donation centre in Linz and approved for clinical trials by a qualified person registered with the Austrian Federal Office for Safety in Health Care."
Following the phase of preclinical basic research (2009-2015), which was funded by the Christian Doppler Research Association (CDG), the "Product Science" (the prescribed pharmaceutical product development) for AposecTM was successfully completed by 2020 with the help of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and Vienna Business Agency. The product developed at MedUni Vienna has been undergoing testing in a monitored, multinational, multicentre and double-blind randomised phase I/II trial in diabetic foot syndrome (Wagner I-II) since November 2020 (EudraCT 2018-001653-27). The results of this clinical trial, called MARSYAS II, are expected in mid-2023.
Since 2008, both the translational and basic research by ARGE Applied Immunology at MedUni Vienna have been funded by Aposcience AG (www.apocience.com), a MedUni Vienna spin-off. The collaboration between Aposcience AG and the Medical University of Vienna is governed by a cooperation agreement and is a good example of a public-private partnership.
Ankersmit's plans within the framework of his professorship include the continuation of basic research into aspects of thoracic surgery and the ongoing development of AposecTM in other disease entities. In particular, there are plans to address strokes within the scope of an FFG COMET programme in collaboration with VASCage GmbH. Ankersmit explains: "Basic research and product development in surgery are a project for society as a whole. The aim of this professorship is to describe and further develop successful translational research and its application."
About Hendrik Ankersmit
Hendrik Jan Ankersmit is a consultant in cardiac, thoracic and general surgery and has been a senior physician at the Division of Thoracic Surgery since 2010. Following a postdoc at Columbia University (New York) in 1997-98, he founded a working group in the Surgical Research Laboratories in 1999 with the aim of establishing applied immunological surgical research at MedUni Vienna (www.applied-immunology.at).