Bern’s new sitem-insel helps to bring innovation from the laboratory to the patient.

With a goal of harnessing academic innovation to bring new therapies to patients with rare and serious diseases around the world, CSL Behring has helped cut the ribbon on a new public-private research hub in Switzerland that brings the biotech leader’s scientists into a campus environment.

Impression of the opening of sitem-insel, the Swiss Center for Translational Medicine in Bern, Switzerland.
The Swiss Center for Translational Medicine, known as “sitem-insel,” officially opened its doors recently on the campus of the University of Bern hospital with an open house attended by about 2,500 people.

The Swiss Center for Translational Medicine, known as “sitem-insel,” officially opened its doors recently on the campus of the University of Bern hospital with an open house attended by about 2,500 people. The unique facility provides the infrastructure to cultivate research findings or prototypes to marketable products. The CSL Biologics Research Center housed in the center makes CSL Behring the only established biotechnology company that will be directly present on the premises of the site.

“CSL continues to invest in research and development to help drive future growth that will ultimately benefit people with rare and serious diseases,” said Bill Mezzanotte, Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development for CSL Behring. “This leading-edge facility in Bern aims to bring together CSL’s scientists, academia and the life sciences industry, allowing for exciting new global partnerships to help us deliver on our promise to discover, develop and provide innovations for patients that help them lead full lives.”

Translational medicine is the practice of transitioning new findings and products from industrial development and basic research to clinical application. It’s a process-oriented discipline that professionalizes the interaction between industry, universities, clinicians, regulatory bodies and investors. Sitem-insel is the end result of an effort by the Swiss government to create a national center of excellence for translational medicine.

About 50 CSL employees are now working on-site, led by Adrian Zuercher, Head of Research Europe and Head of Plasma Protein Research at CSL Behring. “This move gives us the best of two worlds”, said Zuercher. “The proximity to colleagues from the university will inspire our science. But at the same time, we’ll stay connected and closely collaborate with the Wankdorf site, building an integral part of the Bern R&D Innovation Center, and the whole CSL community.” Simon Rothen, sitem-insel’s CEO, says CSL Behring’s involvement gave momentum to the project and is enabling other partners, including the University of Bern to establish partnerships. “It was very important that CSL Behring was involved in the project from a very early stage,” Rothen said.

The newly opened CSL Biologics Research Center (CBRC) joins the Bio21 Institute of Molecular Science and Biotechnology, at the University of Melbourne, Australia, as a CSL research center integrated within academia and the life sciences industry.

« The proximity to colleagues from the university will inspire our science. »

Adrian Zuercher, Head of Research Europe and Head of Plasma Protein Research
Impression of the opening of sitem-insel, the Swiss Center for Translational Medicine in Bern, Switzerland.
The newly opened CSL Biologics Research Center (CBRC) in sitem-insel joins the Bio21 Institute of Molecular Science and Biotechnology, at the University of Melbourne, Australia, as a CSL research center integrated within academia and the life sciences industry.