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Dutch Top Institute Allocates 150 Million Euro to R&D Projects Targeting Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Disease

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 General News J E 4
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EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands, April 1 The Center forTranslational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) - a Dutch public-private partnershipcommitted to the research and development of new techniques for the diagnosisand treatment of major diseases - announced today that nine projects willreceive research funding amounting to a total of 150 million Euro. Dutchuniversity medical centers, a broad spectrum of small and medium-sizedenterprises, major industry leaders including Philips and Organon (a part ofSchering-Plough), and the Dutch Government are involved.

A total of 150 million Euro will be injected into Netherlands-basedresearch related to the most prevalent diseases in the cardiovascular area,cancer and neurodegeneration (Alzheimer disease). These three areas ofdisease have the biggest impact on people throughout the western world. Thefunding is provided by the Dutch government, industry and academia. Theresearch is focused firmly on the 'translational' aspects of molecularmedicine so that results can be applied as quickly as possible to actualpatient care.

"These R&D projects are highly innovative and tackle some of the biggestchallenges in modern medicine, including finding better ways to earlydiagnose and treat diseases such as heart failure, diabetes, cardiacarrhythmias, childhood leukemia, Alzheimer's disease and various types ofcancer. With the joint expertise of the best Dutch scientists and R&D groupsin major industry and small and medium enterprises we can expect newimportant scientific breakthroughs, that will not only have a major clinical,but also an economic impact," says Prof. Dr. Rob Reneman, chairman of theInternational Scientific Advisory Board of CTMM.

"The CTMM has proven to be a highly effective mechanism for establishingpartnerships between clinicians, academia and industry in order to addressmajor healthcare issues for people in the Netherlands and the wider world,"according to Hans Hoogervorst, former Dutch Minister of Health and currentChairman of the CTMM Supervisory Board.

The selected CTMM projects focus on molecular medicine that aims tounderstand how diseases develop at the molecular and cellular level. Many ofthese projects are seeking to identify so-called 'biomarkers', such asabnormal proteins in the blood, that often appear long before the patientdevelops symptoms. Molecular medicine therefore has the potential to allowdiagnosis and treatment at a much earlier stage than symptom-based diagnosis.Because treating disease in its early stages generally requires lessaggressive interventions, this approach may lead to fewer side effects,better patient outcomes and more effective use of healthcare resources.

In the fall of 2008 CTMM will organise a second call for projectproposals.

About CTMM

The CTMM (Center for Translational Molecular Medicine) is aNetherlands-based public-private partnership dedicated to the development oftechnologies in molecular medicine that enable early diagnosis andpersonalized treatment for oncology, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative andinfectious disease - the four main areas of disease causing mortality anddiminished quality of life in the western world. CTMM operates by inviting,assessing and funding multidisciplinary projects that involve activeparticipation by Netherlands-based academia and industry. All CTMM projectsare judged by an independent International Advisory Board and approved by aSupervisory Board based on their significant potential to translate researchknowledge into clinical practice. The CTMM is funded by the Dutch government(50%), academia (25%) and industry (25%). For more information, visithttp://www.ctmm.nl

SOURCE CTMM
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