4.3 M Euro for biomarker research and development

Gool Van , Alain

An STW 'Perspective' grant of 4.3M Eur to form the Biomarker Development Center, a public-private partnership to accelerate the validation and development of biomarkers, was awarded to Prof. Alain van Gool and colleagues.

In a joint effort stemming from earlier biomarker projects, Prof. Alain van Gool (department of Laboratory Medicine, Radboudumc, and TNO), Prof. Rainer Bischoff (University of Groningen) and Dr. Theo Luider (ErasmusMC), together with fellow applicants with strong clinical or analytical expertise at the three universities including Prof. Cees Tack (department of Internal Medicine) and Prof. Ron Wevers (department of Laboratory Medicine) of the Radboudumc, have been awarded a consortium grant of over 4 M Euro to develop new biomarkers.

The funds are obtained from STW (2.2M) combined with contributions by 7 participating industrial partners (0.94M cash/1.3M kind) of which TNO acts as independent data capture and analysis partner. The project objective originated from the alignment of public-private interests in the Topsector Life Science & Health, where accelerated biomarker development was identified as key factor to stimulate innovation in molecular diagnostics and personalized healthcare. The Biomarker Development Center will focus not on the discovery of novel biomarkers, but on the validation and development of already identified biomarkers that are smartly selected from public and proprietary sources. Through a matrix structure, three biomarker validation technologies (high throughput sample prep, high-sensitivity LC-MS and ultrasensitive immunoassays) will be applied in three disease areas (Alzheimers, COPD and Type2 Diabetes). The application of the output is ensured by the clinicians involved who will select and co-develop the candidate biomarkers, ensuring direct implementation in their patient care, whereas the industrial partners are first to commercialize the outcomes of the project.

Alain van Gool: "We are very happy with this grant, but also do regard this as an important first stepping stone towards more comprensive biomarker research and development projects, particularly aiming at pharmaceutical industries and European funding."

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