The MUNI BioPharma Hub project, worth approximately CZK 2.5 billion, represents a unique combination of the modern teaching facilities of the Faculty of Pharmacy and the cutting-edge research infrastructure of the Preclinical Centre and the Centre for Molecular Medicine. The building, to which the Faculty of Pharmacy will move in the future, will also provide facilities for scientific education in the field of pharmacological or biomedical research and will contribute to increasing the resilience of Czech society to the expected (prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases) and unexpected threats. Construction of the MUNI BioPharma Hub is scheduled to begin in August this year. This project represents a major investment in the future of the entire Masaryk University and will have a significant regional and national impact.
“When, shortly after starting my first term as rector, I oversaw the return of the Faculty of Pharmacy back under the wings of Masaryk University after 60 years of separation, I was thinking as a doctor who is aware of the close connection of the natural sciences and the possibilities of their mutual synergies. Back then, the idea of the MUNI BioPharma Hub was born in my head. Cutting-edge pharmaceuticals are one of the most demanding industries in terms of excellence and finances, but they have a profound impact on the entire population. This has been demonstrated by the Covid crisis and is still the case today, given the discussions regarding drug shortages in the Czech Republic and the need for coordination in this area at the EU level. In addition, the MUNI Biopharma Hub will also have an impact on humanities-oriented faculties, for example in the area of research ethics and pharmacoeconomics, which is being developed at the MU Faculty of Economics and Administration,” said Rector Martin Bareš.
The future MUNI BioPharma Hub’s six floors and 13,500 square metres of space will provide students and teachers with modern, timeless and spacious and technologically advanced facilities for teaching and research activities. The Faculty of Pharmacy will be physically closer to the Faculty of Medicine and Science and the CEITEC research centre, with which it is closely linked in terms of its research objectives. The space for inter-faculty collaboration, sharing of knowledge and technological equipment, including cooperation with partners, will be significantly enhanced. Laboratories are planned in the basement of the new building to facilitate the process of good manufacturing practice in the area of dosage forms. This will allow the faculty to produce small certified batches of drugs for collaborating pharmaceutical companies or other partners. Students will thus be able to gain experience in real-life drug production during their studies.
“Currently, there is no such possibility of producing small batches of medicines in the Czech Republic and in the wider region and Masaryk University wants to make a maximum contribution from its position of a top educational and research organisation. We believe that this could lead to more intensive drug development, which could contribute to drug self-sufficiency in the Czech Republic and other EU countries, as it can be expected that there will be a number of companies that will want to produce clinical batches,” said David Vetchý, Dean of the MU Faculty of Pharmacy. Thanks to the new premises, his faculty will also be able to offer new study programmes responding to the current situation on the labour market and to admit a larger number of first-year students than before. If all goes according to plan, the MUNI BioPharma Hub should be operational by mid-2026. The project documentation is currently being prepared with a strong focus on sustainability, as Masaryk University is committed to building energy-efficient facilities.
“Efficient use of resources is one of the components of the MU Strategic Plan,” explained David Póč, director of the MU 2021+ strategic development project, “That is why the energy management of the building includes, for example, skylights that let in as much daylight as possible, the production of its own electricity through photovoltaic panels, and the reuse of heat from the data centre. The MUNI BioPharma Hub will also use the heat from 53 geothermal boreholes beneath the building and, of course, a cistern to store rainwater for flushing and irrigation. There will be no shortage of rooftop vegetation to regulate the climate in the heated roof areas.”