Dutch molecular medicine institute allocates
€150m for disease research
7 April 2008
The Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) in Eindhoven,
the Netherlands, has awarded €150
million of funding for nine research projects.
CTMM is a public-private consortium of universities, academic medical
centres, medical technology enterprises and chemical and pharmaceutical
Dutch university medical centres, a broad spectrum of small and
medium-sized enterprises, major industry leaders including Philips and
Organon (a part of Schering-Plough), and the Dutch Government are
involved in the projects.
The research is directed at the most prevalent diseases in the
cardiovascular area, cancer and neurodegeneration (Alzheimer's disease).
These three areas of disease have the biggest impact on people
throughout the western world. The research is focused firmly on the
'translational' aspects of molecular medicine so that results can be
applied as quickly as possible to actual patient care.
Prof. Dr Rob Reneman, chairman of the International Scientific
Advisory Board of CTMM, said, "These R&D projects are highly innovative
and tackle some of the biggest challenges in modern medicine, including
finding better ways to early diagnose and treat diseases such as heart
failure, diabetes, cardiac arrhythmias, childhood leukemia, Alzheimer's
disease and various types of cancer.
"With the joint expertise of the best Dutch scientists and R&D groups
in major industry and small and medium enterprises we can expect new
important scientific breakthroughs, that will not only have a major
clinical, but also an economic impact."
"The CTMM has proven to be a highly effective mechanism for
establishing partnerships between clinicians, academia and industry in
order to address major healthcare issues for people in the Netherlands
and the wider world," said Hans Hoogervorst, former Dutch Minister of
Health and current Chairman of the CTMM Supervisory Board.
The selected CTMM projects focus on molecular medicine that aims to
understand how diseases develop at the molecular and cellular level.
Many of these projects are seeking to identify so-called 'biomarkers',
such as abnormal proteins in the blood, that often appear long before
the patient develops symptoms. Molecular medicine therefore has the
potential to allow diagnosis and treatment at a much earlier stage than
symptom-based diagnosis. Because treating disease in its early stages
generally requires less aggressive interventions, this approach may lead
to fewer side effects, better patient outcomes and more effective use of
CTMM will organise a second call for project proposals this autumn.
All CTMM projects are judged by an independent International Advisory
Board and approved by a supervisory board based on their significant
potential to translate research knowledge into clinical practice. The
CTMM is funded by the Dutch government (50%), academia (25%) and