Oncode Institute is founded on 3 pillars: Scientific Excellence, Collaboration and Valorization – together creating impact. Although we faced the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of our activities could be continued. The groundwork carried out in previous years started to bear fruit in 2020, with more and more tangible impacts. Scroll through some of our highlights below.
Towards proof of concept
With expert advice and targeted funding, our Clinical Proof of Concept programme is supporting the translation of our research findings from the lab to the clinic.
Next to finishing our first two CPoC studies, we have funded four new proposals in 2020. A project led by Oncode Investigator Monique den Boer is expanding the reach of our programme beyond The Netherlands as it will be executed in a European context.
Base funding pays off
Oncode base funds are meant to promote innovative basic and pre-clinical research lines of high quality (high-risk/high-gain), or for Oncode Investigators to apply their expertise in new research fields.
In 2020 our community published 375 publications, of which 67% was in Open Access journals. Base funding helped to secure over €15M in new research funding and allowed our investigators to venture into new research areas.
To supply our community with state-of-the-art technologies, infrastructures and facilities we have setup the Technologies & Infrastructure programme.
Last year Oncode funded 3 new facilities. Furthermore we prefinanced a new robotics platform for high-throughput COVID-19 diagnostics, initiated by Oncode Investigators Marvin Tanenbaum and Wouter de Laat.
Affordable health care
New innovations in cancer therapies need to reach patients at an affordable price. Though our Affordable Health Care Programme we want to contribute to the affordability of new medical solutions originating from Oncode.
Three of our Clinical Proof of Concept studies have the potential to contribute to affordable health care. Moreover, we have acquired a Drug Repurposing Library with more than 6.000 drugs in various stages of clinical development. So far, eight proposals for drug repurposing screens have been approved by an expert advisory board.
Public Private Partnerships
Our Clinical Proof-of-Concept Programme, which was rolled out in 2018 with six translational projects, was adapted and further expanded in 2019.
Our revised Clinical Proof-of-Concept Programme provides Oncode researchers with expert support and ensures the increased quality of awarded projects. We funded three new Clinical Proof-of-Concept studies in 2019 with a total budget of approximately €1.8M
Through the technology development fund we aim to increase the likelihood that inventions from our labs can be further developed to increase the chances of out-licensing or creating spin-off companies.
With a total budget of €4M, the fund has so far funded 17 projects, of which 5 were awarded in 2020. Projects include activities such as drug target validation, high throughput screening, medicinal chemistry, toxicological studies, and health technology assessments.
Tailored funding strategies
With the Oncode strategic funding support programme we help our Investigators to navigate the complex funding landscape.
We provided funding support in 43 cases, ranging from national research grants (e.g. NWO and KWF) to international grants (e.g. IMI and ERC). Of these, 35 were submitted in 2020 with a success rate of 35%. Since the programme started it has successfully secured €11,8M in funding.
Teaming up with HollandBIO
Oncode became a member of HollandBIO and co-hosted a major cancer research event.
160 participants from academia, life-science companies, clinical practice and other relevant stakeholders discussed New Frontiers in Cell Therapy.
Community building during a pandemic
2020 was largely defined by the pandemic. At Oncode, we moved our community building activities online: hybrid meetings, webinars, online training materials and more.
We organized 11 meetings with over a 1000 participants in total. These included our hybrid annual meeting, online masterclasses on grant writing, mentoring session for junior OIs and online patient engagement sessions.
Bridging the innovation gap
We have established the Oncode Oncology Bridge Fund which provides pre-seed and seed capital to commercially viable enterprises originating from within our community.
So far, investments were made in 5 spin-off companies employing 17 FTE. In September 2020, Immagene was launched from the lab of Daniel Peeper. Our latest spin-off will work on developing next-generation precision immuno-oncology treatments.
Working towards our phase 2 strategy, we hosted a digital site visit for our International Review Committee (IRC) to discuss our progress.
We are proud that the IRC evaluated Oncode to be very good to exceptional: “Oncode has been extremely successful in creating a structure within which synergy between fundamental cancer research and the translation of its discoveries can flourish”.
Meet the team
Oncode’s team of dedicated professionals facilitates the collaborative effort of 61 oncology research groups across the Netherlands.
The general support team works in the fields of science policy and culture, people and development, communications and collaboration, and finance and operations to help Oncode to fulfil its mission. The team consists of the following people:
Meet our general support team
Project Communication Manager
Vesna de Jong
Digital Communications Manager
Meeting & Event Coordinator
Project Communication Manager
Meet our valorization support team
Data Entry Assistant