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News

Dutch institute allocate euros 150m for early diagnosis projects

Center For Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) : 02 April, 2008  (Company News)
Nine projects will receive research funding amounting to euros 150 million allocated by The Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) - a Dutch public-private partnership committed to the research and development of new techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of major diseases.
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.

A total of euros 150m will be injected into Netherlands-based research related to the most prevalent diseases in the cardiovascular area, cancer and neurodegeneration (Alzheimer disease). These three areas of disease have the biggest impact on people throughout the western world.

The funding is provided by the Dutch government, industry and academia. 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.

'These R and 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 andD 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,' said Prof Dr Rob Reneman, chairman of the International Scientific Advisory Board of CTMM.

'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,' according to 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 healthcare resources.

In the autumn of 2008 CTMM will organise a second call for project proposals.
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