Marian Weiss from VERAXA: „In-depth insights
into the latest developments“

Dr. Marian Weiss has been working at VERAXA Biotech GmbH (formerly Velabs Therapeutics) as Head of Microfluidics since 2020. The former physics student and doctoral student at the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research contirbutes a broad spectrum of expertise with his over ten years of experience in microfluidics. The last iL-workshop in February 2023 resulted in a cooperation with Temicon.

In an in-depth interview with Weiss (born in 1987) the innovative technologist, we look ahead together to the workshop "Nano- and microsystems technology for the life sciences" on February 15 (10.15 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. plus open 5.30 p.m. plus open evening) at the iL. Interested parties from science and industry can register on our homepage at


Marian Weiss, the last iL-Workshop 2023 resulted in a collaboration with Christoph Stöver from Temicon Micronano Solutions. How did this come about and to what extent do both companies benefit from this contact?

Dr. Marian Weiss: My participation in the last iL-Workshop 2023 was primarily aimed at informing myself about the current direction of iL. Immediately after the reception, I had the opportunity to have a conversation over coffee with Christoph Stöver. We immediately identified an interesting interface between our fields of work. Temicon is part of the Microfluidic Innovation Hub, which was conducting a tender for the commercialization of microfluidic chips at the time. This was exactly the step we had already planned for, which is why the tender and the subsequent funding of the project matched our plans perfectly. As part of the project, Temicon will support us in the production of microfluidic mold inserts.

Dr. Marian Weiss from VERAXA on the iL workshop: „Opportunity to explore potential collaborations and exchange knowledge." Picture: VERAXA

„We expect to broaden

our horizon“

Screening and antibody engineering are part of VERAXA's profile. What do you expect from the workshop on nano- and microsystems technology?

Weiss: First and foremost, we are looking forward to working with experts and researchers in the field of nano- and microsystems technology. Networking offers the opportunity to explore potential collaborations and exchange knowledge. At the same time, the workshop provides in-depth insights into the latest developments in the field of nano- and microsystems technology. This can help us to broaden our understanding of innovative technologies and identify new research and development directions for VERAXA. One concrete example could be the application of artificial tumors on which we can test our developed antibody formats. In summary, we expect the workshop to broaden our horizons, which will not only enrich our knowledge, but also reveal potential for future collaborations and innovative research directions.


Why in the broad field of life science technologies are printed electronics and Microfluidics so relevant for your company?

Weiss: Microfluidics enables the precise control of small quantities of liquid in microscopic channels. The production of precise chips is crucial for smooth functionality and we are currently producing these in the clean rooms at iL. The automation of processes on the microfluidic chip and the monitoring of these processes are made possible by the integration of low-cost sensors. These sensors for example, can be integrated directly onto the chip using printed electronics. Due to the extremely small size and the small sample volumes, many assays can be analyzed precisely in a high-throughput procedure. Using this technology, we are able to screen up to one million potential drug candidates within a few hours. This enables us to reliably identify the most promising candidates from extensive antibody repertoires.

Screening chip, which is connected to the screening workstation here. Picture: VERAXA

The effect: „Targeted elimination of cancer cells“

Why are antibody screenings so important with regard to preclinical developments, personalized medicine and precision oncology?

Weiss: Antibody screenings play a key role in the identification and development of monoclonal antibodies. These can be targeted against specific proteins that are overexpressed in cancer cells or other diseased tissues. By linking these monoclonal antibodies with a toxic charge, we can specifically eliminate the corresponding cancer cells. Healthy cells that do not overexpress the specific proteins are spared. This strategy helps to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment while at the same time minimize undesirable side effects. In the field of personalized medicine, our technology enables the identification of antibodies that react specifically to individual biological markers or disease profiles. This enables the development of individualized therapeutic approaches tailored to the unique characteristics of each patient.

To what extent is VERAXA linked to institutions and clinics?

Weiss: VERAXA is the merger of two spin-offs from the from the research institution EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory), with which we are still closely associated. Thanks to our international and interdisciplinary team, we continue to maintain close contacts with our former universities and research institutions. We are currently concentrating on building our clinical pipeline, which is why we are increasingly initiating collaborations with clinics.

An example of one of the many wafers that VERAXA produces in the iL clean room and which serve as masters for screening chips. Picture: VERAXA

Making new connections in the life science community

Roughly speaking: What communicative messages do you would you like to send out on February 15?

Weiss: Our participation underlines our commitment to innovative technologies and our ongoing research work. We want to use the workshop to expand our network, deepen existing contacts and make new contacts and new connections in the life science community. Interdisciplinary cooperation is of particular importance to us, especially with regard to the interfaces between nano- and microsystems technology and the life sciences.

Please complete the sentence: I am particularly looking forward to my second workshop participation at iL because ...

Weiss: ... I gained valuable insights during the first workshop and now have the opportunity to deepen this knowledge, exchange ideas with experts and explore potential collaborations.


Joachim Klaehn

Head of Communications