Unique Joining Forces for Better Research with Human Measurement Models

By linking health research as closely as possible to humans and thus making it more applicable and faster, more and more diseases can be prevented or cured in the long term. It is therefore vital to invest now in the development of “Human Measurement Models”, according to De Samenwerkende Gezondheidsfondsen.

De Samenwerkende Gezondheidsfondsen (SGF) have set up the research programme “Human Measurement Models” together with the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH; Health~Holland), NWO domain TTW and ZonMw. In this programme, public-private partnerships contribute to more effective human health research that is less dependent on laboratory animal research. In a first financing round, SGF, together with Health-Holland, will award 3.5 million euros in PPP allowance and ZonMw 1.1 million euros to seven public-private partnerships. In addition, there are co-financiers, such as Stichting Proefdiervrij, who contribute at project level. A unique combination of strengths that has never taken place before and should ensure innovations in the field of human-centered science.

Human measurement or research models take humans as a starting point and are based on human material, such as stem cells, tissue after surgery or “organs-on-a-chip”. But also test subjects and computer simulations, using human data, are forms of “human measurement models”. When new treatments are investigated in a human model, it is expected that the step towards effective application in practice can be taken more quickly. This also makes science less dependent on the use of laboratory animal models, which is in line with the Transition Laboratory Animal-Free Innovation (Transitie Proefdiervrije Innovatie).

“Until now, the laboratory animal model is still often the standard within health research and in some cases even required by law. Despite the movement towards other models, their application often lags behind due to the lack of suitable alternatives. We will now change this by stimulating public-private partnerships for the development of humane measurement models. In this way, we will be able to prevent or cure illnesses better in the long term, so that more people can live healthily for longer. That is our mission. ” Said Mark Monsma, director of De Samenwerkende Gezondheidsfondsen.

The programme consists of two funding rounds, making more than 9 million euros available in total. The second funding round entitled “Human measurement models 2.0: for health research into disease and prevention” closes on 3 November 2020 and is coordinated by NWO domain AES.

The following seven projects were awarded in the first subsidy round:

  1. Validation of Human Cancer Organoids for Drug Development and as Predictive Models for Drug Response. (consortium leader: Prof. Dr. Hans Clevers)
  2. Building a multi-tissue microfluidics system of metastatic potential – BIOMEP (consortium leader: Ir. Wytske M. van Weerden)
  3. Platform for Alternative Skin Tests for sustainable future science (PAST4FUTURE) (consortium leader: Dr. Ellen van den Bogaard)
  4. Towards osteoarthritis fingerprinting – combining imaging biomarkers and multi-organ-on-chip technology for improved in vitro models (consortium leader: Dr Marcel Karperien)
  5. Drug disposition On-a-Chip: a multi-organ-on-chip model tailored to mimic ADME / PK in vitro (consortium leader: Prof. Dr. Roos Masereeuw)
  6. Brain @ home: real-world clinical neurophysiological and neurobehavioral markers as novel human measurement models for personalised treatment in epilepsy and migraine (consortium leader: Dr. R.D. Thijs)
  7. Bio-Informatic Qualification of Multi-organ disease Models: Evolution Through in vitro and Computational Symbiosis (consortium leader: Dr. Bas van Balkom)

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