Oncode Institute can only impact lives if we bring the knowledge, insights and inventions of our academic researchers to the clinic. The valorization team of Oncode was set up in 2018 to support researchers achieve this. Our valorization approach is based on the principles of open science, FAIR data and affordable health care. Oncode collaborates with partners in industry, academia, charities and health funds to deliver medical innovations. Below is an overview of the results for 2018.
The Oncode Valorization team finalized research related agreements with 37 companies and was instrumental in providing support for over ten collaborative research agreements and consortia agreements. These agreements, which...
Socially responsible licensing
In the past, innovations in healthcare have typically correlated with increased costs. If that trend continues, it will potentially result in unaffordability. This societal challenge of improved care at reduced cost is the target of Oncode’s Affordable Health...
Launching our first start-up:
Single Cell Discoveries
Oncode Investigator Alexander van Oudenaarden is a pioneer in the field of single-cell sequencing. From his lab at the Hubrecht Institute, the company Single Cell Discoveries was launched with the help of Oncode’s Valorization team.
The scientific potential of the technologies developed in Van Oudenaarden’s lab was already clear. With the help of Oncode, the potential impact in terms of business development was shaped into our very first start-up company. Oncode assisted Single Cell Discoveries with incorporation, established legal agreements and provided a €60k loan for initial operating capital.
Speaking about the company’s ultimate goals, co-founders Mauro Muraro and Judith Vivié explain: “We want to further develop the technology and have the ambition to make single-cell sequencing part of the diagnosis and monitoring for all patients in the future. We believe high-resolution biology should benefit all patients.”
The company is already achieving economic impact, finishing the calendar year with over twenty active contracts across five countries and expanding its staffing level. Angus Livingstone, Valorization Director at Oncode, says: “At Oncode we hope this venture is the first of many successful initiatives. Single Cell Discoveries is proof that Oncode can shorten the time to market of new inventions and technologies. This venture is a great example of what can be achieved for the broader research community.”
- Recruited the initial members of the valorization team including five business developers with decades of experience.
- Established personal relationships between a dedicated business developer and each Oncode Investigator to identify valorization needs and opportunities customized to their research programme.
The Oncode Valorization team finalized research related agreements with 37 companies and was instrumental in providing support for over ten collaborative research agreements and consortia agreements. These agreements, which represent a total budget of around €1.3 million, involve various Oncode Investigators who collaborate with both national and (major) international private partners. In addition, Oncode managed 33 new invention disclosures and 22 new patent applications in 2018. The collaboration between a Dutch biotech company and one of Oncode’s Investigators is a great example of how the Dutch scientific oncology ecosystem has already been impacted by our activities. To fuel future valorization, actions have been initiated to build awareness of Oncode’s valorization channels and opportunities, both through workshops and educational programmes and by providing Investigators with tools and funds.
Moreover, Oncode strives to create a favorable financial ecosystem for research and development, in which publicly invested money will be matched with private investments. To serve this objective, the Oncode Valorization team has created a database of oncology focused funding programmes and scoped the research community to facilitate the realization of existing valorization opportunities. Furthermore, Oncode established the Oncode IP Fund to support strategic intellectual property filings on valuable outputs of research. Early success has already been achieved through the execution of ten collaborative research agreements. The Future Fund subsidy for the IP and Technology Development funds were finalized in 2018 and initial funding (€615k) was received in December 2018.
Oncode laid the foundations to incorporate ‘affordable healthcare’ across all Oncode activities. In 2018, we set up a funding call in alliance with ZonMw aimed specifically at supporting research that will potentially lead to the development of effective, safe and affordable medicines or personalized precision diagnostics.
The Future Fund subsidy for the Oncode Oncology Bridge Fund required the incorporation of Oncode B.V. as a wholly owned subsidiary of Oncode Institute. This was completed in the fall of 2018. The Oncode Oncology Bridge Fund serves as a valorization instrument that enables Oncode to create and grow new enterprises based on research results emanating from the Oncode community.
Socially responsible licensing
In the past, innovations in healthcare have typically correlated with increased costs. If that trend continues, it will potentially result in unaffordability. This societal challenge of improved care at reduced cost is the target of Oncode’s Affordable Health Care programme, which is specifically designed to ensure that medical solutions originating from Oncode research will become available and affordable. Oncode laid the foundations to incorporate ‘affordable healthcare’ across all Oncode activities. In 2018, we set up a funding call in alliance with ZonMw aimed specifically at supporting research that will potentially lead to the development of effective, safe and affordable medicines or personalized precision diagnostics.
It is important that research results from UMCs are translated into applications as quickly as possible. Sometimes UMCs work together with commercial parties and grant licenses to companies to use an invention created by their researchers. In consultation with many partners, the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU) has formulated ten principles for socially responsible licensing. One of the ways that Oncode is preparing for sustainable implementation of research outputs from the very beginning is through implementation of the NFU Socially Responsible Licensing (SRL) policies.
Oncode was part of the working group that developed these policies and formally endorses them. We will implement the guidelines to make sure new scientific insights are translated into novel therapies for patients in a responsible way.