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

EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 - announced today that nine projects will receive research funding amounting to a total of 150 million Euro. Dutch university medical centers, 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 150 million Euro 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&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&D 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," says 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 fall of 2008 CTMM will organise a second call for project proposals.

About CTMM

The CTMM (Center for Translational Molecular Medicine) is a Netherlands-based public-private partnership dedicated to the development of technologies in molecular medicine that enable early diagnosis and personalized treatment for oncology, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and infectious disease - the four main areas of disease causing mortality and diminished quality of life in the western world. CTMM operates by inviting, assessing and funding multidisciplinary projects that involve active participation by Netherlands-based academia and industry. All CTMM projects are judged by an independent International Advisory Board and approved by a Supervisory Board based on their significant potential to translate research knowledge into clinical practice. The CTMM is funded by the Dutch government (50%), academia (25%) and industry (25%). For more information, visit

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