Dutch-Flemish Memo of Understanding
Industrial Platform for Regenerative Medicine
upscaling to affordable cure for chronic diseases
As part of the political summit between the Netherlands and Flanders, a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) on enhanced cooperation in the field of personalized medicine will be signed in Middelburg on 5 November 2018 by State Secretary Mona Keijzer of EZK and Minister Phillipe Muyters of EWI in the presence of both Prime Ministers. According to RegMed XB, this memorandum can be seen as a step towards establishing an industrial platform for regenerative medicine. Such a platform can accelerate the development of promising medical technology in order to affordably cure prevalent chronic diseases on a large scale.
RegMed XB as a supercharger- RegMed XB is a large Flemish-Dutch institute that has been employing innovative research programs for new solutions for kidney failure, type 1 diabetes, osteoarthritis and cardiac disease for the last two years. The research falls under regenerative medicine, which is the repair of damaged tissues and organs, including stem cell therapy. With an intended research budget of 250 million euros, the institute bundles the strengths of hundreds of top researchers, physicians and entrepreneurs.
Platform for industry- The researchers are convinced they can take significant steps in the next 10 years. But in order to make the new technologies available to hundreds of millions of patients, the construction of an industry will have to be done simultaneously. With the right policy, a mature industry for regenerative medicine in the Netherlands and Flanders can emerge to produce new complex technologies on a large scale. RegMed XB Director, Prof. Marianne van der Steen: 'Only a large industry will be able to bring new therapies to the market for a reasonable price. For widespread diseases, you do not want expensive treatments only for the happy few. In RegMed XB there are now already dozens small and large companies, but we are explicitly seeking to connect more companies. This also involves long-term large investments, where public-private partnerships can guarantee the risk-bearing capital'. Prof. Frank Luyten of KU Leuven, member of the Scientific Board of RegMed XB: 'Upscaling to an industrial platform is ultimately the most effective way to bring our new, tested technologiesto as many patients as possible. It is a new, future, industry that will gradually emerge and that will ensure we can take the leap from 'care' to 'cure' in a safe and affordable way'.
Health and economics- In RegMed XB, researchers and physicians from the universities and academic hospitals of Leuven, Utrecht, Leiden, Eindhoven, Maastricht are already working closely and meticulously with innovative companies on well-defined research goals, known as Moonshots. RegMed XB founder, Prof. Clemens van Blitterswijk: 'In order to reach all patients, more will be needed than what we can do now. We must translate successful research into medical products of very high quality that can be prescribed and used by doctors around the world. This requires small innovative startups and large to very large companies. Medically, scientifically and socially, but also economically, there are great opportunities here for the Netherlands and Flanders, and other foreign investors may also join. Research results, our Moonshots, will eventually be translated into medical technologies that are made available by the industry in high quality at a low price to many people. This is only possible with high-quality and fast manufacturing precision: production of very large quantities of new tissues with a negligible margin of error. I foresee this to happen with this new platform.'
Marcel Hammink +31 (0)6 53213917