Belgian stakeholders unite to strive for data science integration in healthcare

Data science is booming, including in the healthcare sector. However, in order to extract insights and benefits from our health data, we first have to build a solid system for structural data processing and management. To frame the needs for healthcare data reuse in Belgium, Inovigate has united stakeholders and summarized their recommendations in two white papers.
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.
Ghent-based Indigo aims to make a huge difference to the quality of life of people with diabetes. The company is developing a device to render the monitoring of blood sugar levels painless and invisible, a major improvement compared to the tools available today. The innovative technology is based on spectroscopy – using light to measure glucose levels through the skin.
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.
Christine Durinx has been appointed as the new co-Managing Director of the world-class life sciences research institute VIB. Taking over from Jo Bury, Durinx joins VIB’s other co-Managing Director Jérôme Van Biervliet in ushering in a new era of discoveries increasingly driven by data science.
Belgium, 20 April 2022 – VIB and Flemish Minister of Economy and Innovation Hilde Crevits announce the appointment of Dr Christine Durinx as VIB’s co-managing director, alongside Dr Jérôme Van Biervliet. Dr Jo Bury, co-founder and co-managing director since VIB’s inception 25 years ago, is passing the torch to Durinx who is the former Executive Director of the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. Her appointment strengthens VIB’s commitment to focus on the burgeoning fields of data science and personalized health.
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.