Oncode Institute is founded on 3 pillars: Scientific Excellence, Collaboration and Valorization. Although COVID-19 still hampered some of our work, our activities could largely continue as planned in 2021. We can truly see that our engine is running at full capacity. Scroll through some of our highlights below.
Collaboration to combat a pandemic
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, our health care system was not able to scale up testing capacity to the unprecedented levels we needed. Oncode Investigators Marvin Tanenbaum and Wouter de Laat started a unique collaboration to tackle this.
Together with public and private partners, they designed an automated PCR based test robot they called the beast. In January 2021, the Dutch Minister of health Hugo de Jonge officially launched the newly installed robot at the PAMM laboratories.
Base funds pave new ways forward
Oncode base funding is meant to promote innovative basic and pre-clinical research lines of high quality. It allows our research team to venture into new research fields and initiate high-risk lines with the potential for high-gains.
We saw further increase in the amount of research funding acquired by our investigators. Our investigators have reported 18 awarded grant applications based on results obtained through using base funding, with a total budget of €18.2M.
Getting innovations to patients
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.
In 2021, Oncode awarded 4 new CPoC projects with a total budget of €2.8M.
One of the new projects, the GLOW study led by Oncode Investigator Edwin Cuppen, was conceived during one of Oncode’s clinical workshops, in this case about glioblastoma. Of the 17 awarded CPoC projects in total, 3 have now been completed.
Bringing in the perspective of patients
Patients and researchers are inherently linked but rarely meet. As Oncode ultimately aims to impact patients’ lives, we decided to establish a patient perspective programme through which (ex)cancer patients and researchers regularly meet.
Since the launch of the programme in 2019, we have now coupled 11 (ex)patients to 6 Oncode research groups. They informally interact on a regular basis to learn from each other.
Meetings in pandemic mode
Physical meetings in 2021 were still largely impeded by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We still managed to bring our community together in online and offline meetings.
In 2021, Oncode organized eight meetings with a total of 1250 participants. Besides the known Oncode meeting formats such as clinical workshops, the annual conference, OI meetings and technical masterclasses, we launched a new type of meeting: the Oncode Postdoc retreat.
Partnering with industry
We are always on the hunt for opportunities to collaborate with partners from industry to help the translation of our research findings into better treatments and diagnostics for cancer patients.
Our outreach to industry pays of: the total contract value with industry partners has increased from €1.3M in 2018 to €18,7M in 2021. Furthermore, Oncode business developers brokered 249 new agreements with industry last year, ranging from confidentiality disclosure agreements (CDAs) and collaborative research agreements to license agreements.
To supply our community with state-of-the-art technologies, infrastructures and facilities we have setup the Technologies & Infrastructure programme.
In 2021 we have launched a new facility together with the Erasmus MC. Based on technology from Oncode Investigator Miao Ping Chien, UFO biosciences offers functional single cell sequencing. We have hosted 4 masterclasses to showcase the available expertise and technical possibilities of the various facilities.
Spin out companies
We have established the Oncode Oncology Bridge Fund which provides pre-seed and seed capital to commercially viable enterprises originating from within our community.
In 2021, the Oncode Bridge Fund committed €600k of investment in two spin-off companies. Since our start, investments were made in 7 spin-off companies employing 17 FTE. Laigo Bio is our newest venture, read more in the interview with Oncode Investigator Madelon Maurice in this magazine.
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