The joint vision in Groningen on biomarkers, bioanalysis and diagnostics has a national impact. On 1 July 2019, more than 60 regional and national actors within this theme came together in Groningen on the Zernike Campus. The goal of the afternoon: to discover what the region has to offer in terms of biomarkers. How will this theme determine the future in healthcare? Why does this topic have so much impact and why is the Northern Netherlands the logical place where it comes together? The organizers of the event are BPRA and Campus Groningen, made possible with support from Health Holland.
Ymke van der Geld: "In Groningen we have a beautiful, extensive biobank structure, a strong Life Sciences ecosystem with the LIFE Cooperative in which the companies can flourish, and contribute in collaboration with the academic parties to the development of new biomarker and diagnostic assays," thus the Managing Director of BiomarkerBay.
A treasure of valuable information
On Monday, July 1st, the kick-off of the congress in the Energy Barn on Zernike Campus Groningen was done by Arno Rutte (VVD) and Ernst Nagel (Operations Director, Health Holland). Both emphasized the important nature of biomarkers, biobanks and the wonderful companies and knowledge that is available in this area in Groningen. Lifelines is such a valuable project within these themes. “With Lifelines we can make connections in a systematic way. The catalogs that we build help to make the diagnosis," says Professor Lude Franke (UMCG). Ymke van der Geld adds: “With the help of Lifelines, we have biomarker information at the time of illness, but especially before the onset of the disease. This is a wealth of information.
Biggest bioanalytical laboratory of Europe
With the knowledge available within the knowledge institutions, regional business has also grown strongly in the field of bioanalysis (CROs). If you add everything together, the Northern Netherlands has the largest bioanalytical capacity in Europe with more than a hundred LC-MS / MS machines (an important instrument for performing bioanalysis). Ep Oosting, Managing Director at Ardena Bioanalytical Laboratory explains: “This is well known outside the region, because leading companies proved to be very interesting for (international) takeovers. Bioanalysis may not sound very attractive, but it certainly is and we are also very good at it here in the Northern Netherlands. The various laboratories are currently expanding considerably and increasingly offering more and more people high-quality and interesting work. "
Hand in hand
The afternoon, filled with pitches on the substantive facets of how biomarkers are implemented in daily practice, offers a nice overview of the current playing field. Both professor Harry Groen and professor Ed Schuuring of the UMCG gave a clear story of the use of biomarkers in the practice of lung cancer diagnosis and treatment. The afternoon was concluded with an interactive debate in which the power of such a network event was endorsed. Ep Oosting: “In recent years we have started working closely together in the Northern Netherlands between the various Contract Research Organizations, academic institutions and companies. Hand in hand, because we realized that with a wider network we can expand our capacities and execute complex projects. It is great that we have demonstrated that today and that new connections have been made at national level ”