Biomedical/pharma, Oncology

Personalized healthcare is characterized by tailoring treatments to each individual patient’s needs. Despite evident benefits, implementing such a system is not straightforward. The ATHENA project consortium has successfully devised a set of building blocks to address the challenges associated. Both technological and governance tools were developed that can now be used on a larger scale to catalyze the transition towards personalized medicine and care.
The QbD Chair supports the research of Professor Frederik De Smet on glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. Behind the establishment of the Chair lies a personal story.
ATHENA, a VLAIO-funded multi-stakeholder project, clears the path for increased reuse of Real-World Data in scientific research and healthcare, by introducing innovative solutions and responding to current technical and governance challenges. The project has made significant strides in the field of oncology by developing groundbreaking privacy-preserving machine learning techniques for predictive analytics. The project findings will be presented and discussed at the ATHENA symposium on November 23rd, 2023.
It’s been a Barbie world this summer with crowds of pink-clad moviegoers flooding the cinemas. Simultaneously, we’ve been witnessing a rush of ‘pink’ fundraising for women’s health start-ups. From pre-clinical to clinical: more companies are entering the field and developing solutions for women’s unique needs. But is their focus broad and innovative enough? And are pharma companies paying attention?
Byteflies is on a mission to make virtual care available to all. The Belgian company has developed a platform for remote patient monitoring solutions, to save precious time for healthcare providers, reduce hospitalization costs, and boost the quality of life for patients. The aim is to aid the transition from fragmented to connected healthcare, enabling a continuum of care through virtual solutions.
Flash radiation has the potential to become a revolution in radiation therapy. An incredibly promising cancer treatment that limits the damage to surrounding tissue, it is currently in the pre-clinical stage. MEDVIA-funded project eFlash2D is working to assure that dosing is ready when flash radiation enters clinical trials.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought vaccines back into the drug development spotlight, and mRNA vaccines are stealing the show with sales of USD 54.4 billion in 2021 alone. Few know that the developers of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines actually drew upon years of experience attempting to develop cancer vaccines. This approach goes back several decades, and although the field has to date seen limited success, it has nevertheless witnessed a renewed interests in recent years. We examine the latest trends in cancer vaccine development, and where the opportunities lie for the future of the industry.
The young Belgian start-up Persomed is unique – it was founded in 2020 by four partners each with relevant expertise in the personalized immunotherapy field: myNEO, QbD Group, Antleron, and the VUB. Together, the multidisciplinary strength and expertise has resulted in the development of Persomed’s cutting-edge technology platform for personalized cancer treatments. The organization is now at crucial point, raising funds to initiate a clinical trial phase I in a first, urgent-medical-need indication: metastatic colorectal cancer.
Augustine Therapeutics is a VIB and KU Leuven spin-off developing innovative therapies for peripheral and central nervous system disorders. The company initially focused on treating Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, and recently added a major indication to their lead program after finding strong evidence that their drug candidate can also reverse nerve damage caused by chemotherapy. Augustine Therapeutics aims to initiate clinical trials by 2024.
Leuven, Belgium, 10 May 2022 – Augustine Therapeutics, a biotech company developing novel therapies for neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders, appoints Gerhard Koenig as Chairman of the Board. The company also expands the Scientific Advisory Board with clinical experts to support broader therapeutic applications, exploring the potential of novel HDAC6 inhibitors in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), and now also in other indications such as chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The radioisotope Actinium-225 shows clear promise in the battle against cancer, but to fulfil its potential we will need to enable large-scale production of the rare substance. A collaboration between IBA – the world’s leading company in particle accelerator technology – and the Belgian Nuclear Research Center (SCK CEN) now makes this crucial step possible. The partners are constructing a production plant on the SCK CEN site in the Flemish city of Mol.
Over the past few decades, pharma has gradually shifted its target patient focus for newly launched drugs from large to niche populations. What has caused this trend, and is the pendulum of drug development swinging back again?