Public-private partnerships prosper

April 1, 2010

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

In 2009, the BioMedical Materials (BMM) programme, the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) and Top Institute Pharma (TI Pharma) issued a joint call to stimulate research consortia to look for new healthcare solutions at the interface of three research areas: drug delivery and targeting, imaging and new biomaterials.

In 2009, the BioMedical Materials (BMM) programme, the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) and Top Institute Pharma (TI Pharma) issued a joint call to stimulate research consortia to look for new healthcare solutions at the interface of three research areas: drug delivery and targeting, imaging and new biomaterials. The projects chosen to receive funding investigate an integrated approach to tackle some major challenges in healthcare, among those the possibility to individualise treatment of patients. One project combines magnetic resonance imaging with a heat-producing device (high intensity focused ultrasound) to non-invasively release anti-cancer drugs at the site of the tumour, while another project will visualise the immune system in action by labelling particles that migrate through the lymphatic system. In a third project, research will be conducted to identify specific monoclonal antibodies for the diagnosis and treatment of different forms of prostate cancer. In addition, two projects will investigate the biomaterial-based delivery of stem cells to support myocardial regeneration. These projects represent high-level academic research, combined with a clear perspective for creating both clinical and economic value.

Couple imaging and diagnostics with drug design

The most direct control mechanism to study whether a particular treatment is successful or not is to develop molecular diagnostics and imaging in close collaboration with drug and biomaterial design. In these programmes, the diagnostic component can be positioned as the personal litmus test for treatment efficacy on a personal basis.

Future therapy will increasingly rely on sophisticated diagnostic approaches combined with targeted delivery of the bioactive to optimise the efficacy/safety balance for the individual patient. Interdisciplinary research fosters important innovations in the area of personalised medicine; for this reason, we have decided to promote collaborative research between the specific competencies of the BMM, the CTMM and TI Pharma. The cross-fertilisation between academic, clinical and industrial research is important to translate this research into healthcare solutions for patients. Public-private partnerships provide unique incubators where intellectual creativity and real life applications come together.

Based on contributions by Professor Frank Baaijens, Scientific Director BMM, Professor Peter Luijten Scientific Director CTMM, and Professor Daan Crommelin, Scientific Director TI Pharma.

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