During the summer months, NRC Live organised a series of events on the Future of Healthcare. During these events questions like ‘What does the future of healthcare look like?’ or ‘How can we adapt to the increasing pressure of a sustainable healthcare system?’ were addressed during five informative and interactive evenings in the Jaarbeurs Utrecht. The themes of the first four events were: behaviour and health, technology as motor of innovation, organising in a smarter and better way, and new business models and finance. The fifth and final evening concluded these sessions with a large healthcare debate.
Get an impression on the final evening in the video below or visit the NRC Live website.
Ncardia (former Pluriomics)
Landmark FDA CiPA publication officially validates the use of Ncardia Cor.4U®
On 26 September, 2018 Ncardia shared the news that results of multi-site CiPA Phase II Myocyte Validation report by Blinova et al. validates the use of Ncardia's Cor.4U® cardiomyocytes for regulatory safety pharmacology.
Stefan Braam, Ncardia CEO, said: "This is a landmark paper. It is probably one of the most extensive cardiac safety pharmacology validation studies ever performed and definitely a key milestone in the history of iPSC technology..."
Read more about the publication or Ncardia at the Ncardia website or in the interview with Stefan Braam in this LS@W special.
UbiQ develops and commercializes reagents based on ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins. With these reagents they aim to enable and expedite fundamental research and drug discovery in the ubiquitin field.
Alfred Nijkerk, CEO of UbiQ: "The Pre-Seed Grant validated our business plan for our stakeholders, and therefore UbiQ was able to bootstrap it's path to a successful and sustainable reagent company. Moreover, this grant put us in the position to further build on our mixed business model by developing our in-house drug discovery platform."
Philips expands its Sleep & Respiratory Care portfolio with the acquisition of NightBalance
Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, today on 8 May 2018 that it has acquired NightBalance, a digital health scale-up company based in the Netherlands, that has developed an innovative, easy to use device to treat positional obstructive sleep apnea and positional snoring. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
NightBalance’s Sleep Position Trainer (SPT) was designed as a comfortable and easy to use treatment alternative for people who suffer from positional obstructive sleep apnea. The SPT gently prompts them not to sleep on their back, avoiding the apneas from occurring during sleep. The SPT is CE-marked and is currently marketed in select countries in Europe.
John Frank,Business Leader Sleep & Respiratory Care at Philips: "NightBalance offers a unique, patient friendly solution to treat positional obstructive sleep apnea and positional snoring that is highly complementary to our current offerings."
“NightBalance offers a unique, patient friendly solution to treat positional obstructive sleep apnea and positional snoring that is highly complementary to our current offerings," said John Frank, Business Leader Sleep & Respiratory Care at Philips. "This acquisition will help us further expand our leadership position in the growing home care market, and our ability to deliver integrated solutions that drive efficiencies and improved outcomes.”
“We founded NightBalance in 2009 with the ambition to improve the lives of positional apnea patients worldwide”, said Eline Vrijland-van Beest, CEO of NightBalance. “I am proud that our innovation is in good hands with Philips. Their strength in connected sleep therapy solutions and global reach will accelerate the accessibility of the Sleep Position Trainer”.
Read more about Nightbalance and lessons learned by CEO and founcer Eline Vrijland-van Beest in this LS@W special or visit the Nightbalance website.
Hubrecht Organoid Technology (The HUB)
Hubrecht Organoid Technology (The HUB) has established a ‘Living Biobank’, a rapidly-growing collection of well-characterized organoids derived from patient tissues. Through a combination of the proprietary Organoid Technology and the ‘Living Biobank’, the HUB provides access to a unique and robust platform that links patient-specific genetic and phenotypic information to preclinical and clinical drug-responsiveness.
Hans Clevers, CSO of HUB: "Almost a decade ago, LS@W allowed us to make a start with our work to convert human stem cells into mini-organs. This happened at a time when neither the regular granting agencies nor investors showed interest in our plans. Our organoid technology is now taking the world by storm, and our HUB-for-Organoids has assumed a key role in the commercialisation process."
Khondrion is a pharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery and development of innovative drugs to treat mitochondrial disese.
Jan Smeitink, CEO and founder of Khondrion: "The Pre-Seed Grant awarded to Khondrion in 2011 laid the foundation for what has become an innovative Dutch-based pharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery and development of breakthrough medicines for mitochondrial disease. Within six years of our operational start, we have a potential drug that has successfully completed a phase 2a clinical trial."
Cristal Therapeutics Initiates Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Innovative CriPec® Nanomedicine Drug Candidate in Ovarian Cancer
Cristal Therapeutics, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing unique nanomedicines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases, announced today the first patient has been dosed in its Phase 2 clinical trial of lead nanomedicine candidate CPC634 for patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
CPC634 is a new drug modality. It combines CriPec® nanoparticles with docetaxel (Taxotere®), a clinically validated chemotherapy, as its therapeutic payload. This nanomedicine candidate has been designed to enable enhanced tumour accumulation and localised drug release at the target site, with the goal of boosting therapeutic efficacy. In addition, it is anticipated that CPC634 will overcome the shortfalls associated with current docetaxel products, including toxic systemic side effects.
Dr Joost Holthuis, Cristal Therapeutics’ CEO and co-founder: Results from our Phase 1 NAPOLY study demonstrated that CPC634 can be administered safely and was well tolerated by patients with advanced solid tumours. CPC634 also demonstrated encouraging signs of efficacy and reduction in systemic side effects commonly seen with docetaxel.
Professor Jonathan Ledermann, BSc MD, FRCP, UCL Cancer Institute, London, and Principal Investigator: Treatment of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer is an area of high unmet medical need and this trial will give us the opportunity to assess both the therapeutic efficacy of CPC634 and its potential to reduce toxic systemic side-effects such as neutropenia and alopecia, seen with the current standard of care.
The primary objective of the trial will be to determine the response rate as measured by RECIST, a standard unbiased method for assessing whether a tumour shrinks, stays the same, or gets bigger, with CPC634 monotherapy. The clinical study will be conducted in 10 centres across the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, and Spain.
Startup ThromboDx bought by Illumina
ThromBoDx has developed a bloodtest which detects early stage cancer. According to ‘Het Financieele Dagblad’ (FD) Illumina is paying € 70 mln. for ThromboDx. Illumina will place ThromBoDX in its recently established daughter company ‘Grail’; a company in which Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) are participating.
About ThromboDx: a molecular diagnostics company that develops and commercializes blood-based diagnostics through its proprietary platelet-powered technology platform and has its offices in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The technology platform addresses the need for an easily accessible, minimally invasive source for high quality disease-specific nucleic acids in several markets. thromboDx BV targets three major markets: Cancer Diagnostics, Infectious Disease Monitoring and Prenatal Testing. ThromboDx BV is embedded in the scientific and clinical infrastructure at the Cancer Center Amsterdam that allows rapid access to patient cohorts and clinical studies.
ThromBoDx received a Pre Seed Grant in 2012 and founder ThromBoDx Tom Wurdinger also was involved in Exbiome who participated in the Venture Challenge Fall 2015.
First patients treated as part of the HORA EST HCC study at Leiden University Medical Centre
On 05-09-2018 the first two patients were treated with QuiremSpheres®, the only commercially available holmium-166 based microspheres for SIRT, as part of the HORA EST HCC clinical study aiming to treat early stage HCC patients. After the University Medical Centre Utrecht, this is now the second Dutch hospital to use holmium-166 SIRT.
These treatments were made possible by a team from the Leiden University Medical Center, consisting of dr. Mark Burgmans, dr. Frits Smit, dr. Minneke Coenraad, dr. Daphne Rietbergen, Pim Hendriks MSc., as well as the interventional radiology staff. Dr. Maarten Smits was available as proctor.
In the HORA EST HCC study, headed by Dr. Mark Burgmans of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), holmium-166 SIRT will be used as an adjuvant treatment to radiofrequency ablation (RFA). After RFA, tumor recurrence can occur due to incomplete tumor necrosis. In order to reduce the chance of recurrence, this study aims to deliver a highly localized radiation dose using SIRT. A super selective, segmental delivery of microspheres may result in a dose that is high enough to ensure complete cell death of the possibly remaining tumor cells, but with low toxicity to non-tumor liver tissue. This dose-finding study aims to establish a treatment area dose that will result in delivery of a radiation absorbed dose to the target tissue of >120 Gy, in 90% of patients. QuiremSpheres® are especially suited for this purpose, as the unique imaging properties of holmium-166 allow accurate assessment of the delivered absorbed dose with high sensitivity. This study will include 10-30 patients and is expected to take 1-2 years to complete. More information can be found here.