Kantonsspital Baden and PSI forge a common research path

Kantonsspital Baden (KSB) and the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Villigen are following the same research paths, which they have confirmed by signing a new cooperation agreement. Their aim is to launch joint initiatives and clinically applied research projects. They also hope to be able to establish mutual spin-offs and start-ups.
The production and application of radiopharmaceuticals for the diagnosis and therapy of tumours is a focus of the collaboration between KSB and PSI. (Graphic: illuteam/Paul Scherrer Institute)

A scientific advisory committee with the same number of members from both institutions will oversee the cooperation and also set the strategic direction. The new partnership focuses on projects in the area of medical technology, MRI scanning and radiopharmacy.

"KSB has developed from a mainstream hospital to a healthcare campus," says Adrian Schmitter, CEO of KSB. Having already enjoyed a close and successful working relationship with institutions such as the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, the cooperation agreement with PSI represents a new milestone.

"Most of our senior consultants have also completed their ‘habilitation’, requiring several years of academic research and qualifying as a university lecturer. It is therefore extremely important for them to be actively involved not only in treating patients, but also in medical research. The collaboration with PSI presents them with attractive opportunities to do so," says Schmitter. Science and research should be not seen as an end in themselves, however: "The know-how acquired from research in turn benefits our patients, who can enjoy the most advanced treatments."

Research transferred into medical practice

The cooperation agreement strengthens the existing collaboration between KSB and PSI in the area of clinical MRI scanning, radiopharmacy and medical research projects. "Our excellent research infrastructure and know-how, for example in the manufacture of radioisotopes for diagnostics and treatment, fits in perfectly with this new partnership," says Christian Rüegg, Director of PSI. This ensures that the latest research findings are transferred into medical practice reliably and quickly.

With its unique facilities, PSI makes a crucial contribution both to research and to the practical application of the projects in question. For example, PSI’s new strategic project IMPACT (Isotope and Muon Production with Advanced Cyclotron and Target Technology) plays a key role in the production of innovative radiopharmaceuticals that are unavailable elsewhere. These are assessed for simultaneous diagnosis and treatment of cancers and other uses in personalised healthcare.

A current example of the effective cooperation between KSB and PSI is the development of novel diagnostic methods for an extremely precise and pain-free imaging procedure for the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer.