Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Smartmix: A new generation of efficient biomedical research

Can we find and commercialise new treatments for chronic disease that affect our ageing population? And how can we customise this research and development programme to the small but highly-developed Netherlands research economy?

2007 - 2016
Michael Richardson
SmartMix initiative of the NWO and MEZ SmartMix initiative of the NWO and MEZ

Hubrecht Laboratorium Utrecht

ZF-Screens B.V.

Merck- Serono

Arthrogen B.V.

Amsterdam Medical Center (AMC) 

Agendia B.V.

Galapagos N.V.

Raboud Nijmegen University

Progentix B.V.

Fytagoras B.V.

Serpo B.V.

GlaxoSmithKline Ltd.

Amsterdam VUMC

This 14 million euro grant was aimed at developing innovative ways to find new drugs for chronic diseases.

Our proposal was to use excellent science and technology to develop efficient, cost-effective biomedical research systems affordable to smaller companies and academic labs. These new research platforms would in turn generate direct and indirect economic benefits such as new drugs and diagnostic tools. They would also be patented and licensed as a platform for pharmaceutical R&D worldwide. The core of the programme was to incorporate zebrafish models into a pipeline for the development of drugs against chronic skeletal disease. This pipeline would include target discovery and compound screening in zebrafish, and cell-based assays, as well as assays using rodents and humans to bring drugs to the clinic. The consortium’s greatest successes were in scientific output, the stimulation of new critical masses in scientific research and the arthritis drug filgotinib which is now undergoing clinical trials by Galapagos. The consortium has delivered a large number of publications in international journals and citations in the international literature, and a Top Sector grant has been secured to continue the work of the consortium on venom-derived drugs, Citations and publications all greatly exceeded the target values set at the start of the consortium.

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