Fabienne Hartmann-Fritsch still feels most at home in the lab, even though she now spends more time in front of her PC than inspecting Petri dishes. In 2017, the biologist founded the spin-off CUTISS together with four other UZH scientists. Once clinical trials are complete, the spin-off plans to roll out personalized skin tissue therapy on the market – in other words, customized human skin grown in the lab. During her doctoral studies at the University Children's Hospital Zurich, Hartmann-Fritsch started specializing in planning and executing clinical research projects involving humans and dealing with the legal framework. The transition from pure research to (communications) management was an easy one for her. “It’s immensely gratifying to now be able to apply the results of years’ worth of lab work,” she says. The innovative product that is supposed to increase the quality of life of people suffering from skin defects is called denovoSkin. In the second trial phase, the researchers will now test the safety and effectiveness of the skin replacement in various clinics. For Hartmann-Fritsch, this means extensive talks with medics, sponsors and the authorities.
By Alice Werner; translated by Philip Isler