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From pattern to patient: microbiome research needs to bridge the gap to the clinic

The microbiome has been a trending scientific topic in recent years. Researchers have uncovered correlations between the human microbiome and a wide range of diseases and health states, ranging from digestive issues to mental wellbeing. But no matter how fascinating these academic findings may be, translating them into concrete clinical applications remains a challenge. How can we enable more efficient clinical valorization of microbiome insights, and pave the way from pattern to patient?
The vibrant Belgian life sciences sector needs a constant influx of young and ambitious entrepreneurs to sustain its growth. The Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management has launched a brand-new program to meet this demand, co-developed with key academic and industry stakeholders.
A veteran of the life sciences industry, Dr. Ajit Shetty continues to have a huge impact on the ecosystem both in Belgium and abroad. Several years after his retirement from top positions in Janssen Pharmaceutica & Johnson and Johnson (as Chair and previously as Managing Director), Shetty is still actively involved in the industry. Awarded the title of Baron by King Albert II of Belgium in 2008 for his services to the sector, and the recipient of Trends ‘Manager of the Year 2004’ and the Life-Time Achievement Award by India (his country of birth), Shetty is a living legend who is still busy shaping the world’s future.
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.
Abscint is one of several Belgian biotech companies using single-domain antibodies. But unlike the others, Abscint is using these antibodies for diagnostic purposes instead of therapeutic ones. After being labelled with a miniscule amount of radioactive material, the antibodies can be used to show on PET/CT scans for example whether breast cancer cells have spread to the brain, or if patients with sarcoidosis are at risk of a sudden cardiac arrest. The company, founded in 2020, is currently looking for funding to bring its solutions to the market as soon as possible.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, affecting around 100 million people worldwide. Good news though: the innovative implant MINIject – developed by Wavre-based company iSTAR Medical –  has the capacity to prevent progression of the eye disease. The first commercial MINIject implantations are currently being done in Germany, with other European countries to follow soon and a trial in the US underway.
If scientists could stop animal testing, most would do so immediately. So why is it taking so long to develop alternatives to animal testing? And what are we doing to speed up the process?
Belgian GreenTech company H2WIN has developed H2GREEN: an ingenious system to make hydrogen production 100% renewable, more efficient, less expensive, and less energy consuming. Based in Nivelles, H2WIN drew inspiration from nature’s own ancient methods of generating energy: photosynthesis. The company is currently looking for funding to finance the next steps towards industrial-scale production.
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  • Regional News

The microbiome has been a trending scientific topic in recent years. Researchers have uncovered correlations between the human microbiome and a wide range of diseases and health states, ranging from digestive issues to mental wellbeing. But no matter how fascinating these academic findings may be, translating them into concrete clinical applications remains a challenge. How can we enable more efficient clinical valorization of microbiome insights, and pave the way from pattern to patient?
The vibrant Belgian life sciences sector needs a constant influx of young and ambitious entrepreneurs to sustain its growth. The Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management has launched a brand-new program to meet this demand, co-developed with key academic and industry stakeholders.
A veteran of the life sciences industry, Dr. Ajit Shetty continues to have a huge impact on the ecosystem both in Belgium and abroad. Several years after his retirement from top positions in Janssen Pharmaceutica & Johnson and Johnson (as Chair and previously as Managing Director), Shetty is still actively involved in the industry. Awarded the title of Baron by King Albert II of Belgium in 2008 for his services to the sector, and the recipient of Trends ‘Manager of the Year 2004’ and the Life-Time Achievement Award by India (his country of birth), Shetty is a living legend who is still busy shaping the world’s future.
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.
Abscint is one of several Belgian biotech companies using single-domain antibodies. But unlike the others, Abscint is using these antibodies for diagnostic purposes instead of therapeutic ones. After being labelled with a miniscule amount of radioactive material, the antibodies can be used to show on PET/CT scans for example whether breast cancer cells have spread to the brain, or if patients with sarcoidosis are at risk of a sudden cardiac arrest. The company, founded in 2020, is currently looking for funding to bring its solutions to the market as soon as possible.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, affecting around 100 million people worldwide. Good news though: the innovative implant MINIject – developed by Wavre-based company iSTAR Medical –  has the capacity to prevent progression of the eye disease. The first commercial MINIject implantations are currently being done in Germany, with other European countries to follow soon and a trial in the US underway.
If scientists could stop animal testing, most would do so immediately. So why is it taking so long to develop alternatives to animal testing? And what are we doing to speed up the process?
Belgian GreenTech company H2WIN has developed H2GREEN: an ingenious system to make hydrogen production 100% renewable, more efficient, less expensive, and less energy consuming. Based in Nivelles, H2WIN drew inspiration from nature’s own ancient methods of generating energy: photosynthesis. The company is currently looking for funding to finance the next steps towards industrial-scale production.