News Overview

Engimmune and CSEM’s proximity accelerates their collaboration to revolutionize cancer treatment

Arianna Ramirez

A Main Campus residents’ success story

The collaboration between Engimmune Therapeutics and the Swiss Technology Innovation Center CSEM accelerates cancer screening. Their shared success fast-tracked by having their offices just one staircase away at the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel AreaMain Campus.

Watch the interview right here

Engimmune Therapeutics, a spin-off from ETH Zürich and a resident company at the Main Campus HQ, is on a quest to revolutionize cancer treatment with soluble T cell receptors (TCR). These innovative drugs are engineered to recognize and bind to tumors with high precision, directing the body’s immune system to eradicate cancer cells. The mission is clear: design TCRs with unparalleled specificity and ensure their safety for clinical trials. Yet, screening TCRs for safety and efficacy is a challenging and time-consuming task. 

Luckily, within coffee breaks and meetings at the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area Main Campus HQ in Allschwil, the solution presented itself: Engimmune Co-founder and CSO Rodrigo Vazquez-Lombardi and Group Leader Biosystems Engineering, Felix Kurth from CSEM started to discuss on how they could innovate together.


CSEM offers a solution 

CSEM, a landmark of Swiss technological innovation, is on a mission to bridge the gap between research and industry. With a diverse team spread across six locations in Switzerland, including the Main Campus HQ, CSEM specializes in transferring cutting-edge technologies, like droplet microfluidics, to partners seeking a competitive edge. This technique, capable of encapsulating tiny reagent-filled droplets, offers a solution to Engimmune’s challenges by enabling high-throughput TCR screening. 

The fact that motivated us to collaborate in addition to the obvious technological synergies, was proximity. We are here in the same location at Main Campus HQ. We had some previous interactions in the past, but this project was born out of our proximity, interaction and discussion”

Co-founder and CSO, Engimmune Therapeutics

A leap in cancer therapy development 

The synergy between Engimmune’s TCR technology and CSEM’s microfluidic prowess has set the stage for a leap in cancer therapy development. By encapsulating individual TCR tests in microscopic droplets, cross-contamination is eliminated, ensuring precise and reliable results. This innovation dramatically accelerates the screening process, turning what used to take months into a matter of weeks, and significantly increasing the number of TCR candidates that can be de-risked in preparation for clinical trials.

Beyond technology, it was the proximity of Engimmune and CSEM within the innovative ecosystem of the Main Campus that catalyzed this collaboration. The teams found themselves just a staircase away from each other and met on several occasions. It’s the power of proximity in a supportive ecosystem where coffee breaks and casual encounters at community events can lead to groundbreaking collaborations at a speed that might not otherwise occur. At the Main Campus, visionary minds and transformative technologies come together in the right environment and in a thriving community. 

As this partnership between Engimmune and CSEM continues to flourish, it stands as a milestone of hope for cancer patients worldwide, promising safer and more effective treatments.  

Without the local proximity, this project wouldn’t have happened this fast and at this quality. For CSEM, being at Main Campus already leads to direct collaborations and the development of partnerships here at the life science hub Basel. To serve this great ecosystem is a big plus for us”

Group Leader Biosystems Engineering, CSEM

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