Since its official launch in 2018, Oncode has steadily grown into a fully operational institute. Its second year of operation, 2019, was dominated by building on previous success and reviewing and adapting ongoing initiatives such as the Clinical Proof-of-Concept Programme, while also initiating new activities such as a pilot within our new Patient Engagement Programme.
Stimulating collaboration through interactive meetings
The interactive meetings and events we hosted throughout 2019 enabled fruitful interaction both within the Oncode community and with external clinical experts.
Meetings included our annual 2-day scientific meeting, small-scale technical workshops, a thematic 2-day scientific meeting and clinical workshops focused on specific tumour types.
Pioneering the patient perspective
In 2019 we took the first steps in implementing our Patient Engagement Programme. We aim to increase interaction between our researchers and patients in order to inspire and learn from each other.
We ran pilots with Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), in which five Oncode research groups were matched with patients.
Expanding into a more diverse scientific community
Oncode Institute combines the forces of talented cancer researchers throughout the Netherlands.
During 2019 we welcomed 19 new Oncode Investigators, all now fully integrated into our activities.
Reaching out to industry
As part of our integrated valorization approach, we launched our Industry Engagement Programme.
We established contact with 75 of the 93 identified oncology-related companies operating in the Netherlands. Currently, 42 of our 61 Oncode Investigators are connected to a company in some way.
Investing in clinical development
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
Our team of business developers worked with the Oncode research community to translate scientific insights into tangible valorization outputs.
We executed 116 research-related agreements, received 34 invention disclosures, filed 26 new patents, started working on 14 potential spin-offs, and invested in two new ventures.
Developing new technologies
We initiated our Technology Development Programme to enable the generation of additional data and demonstrate proof of concept for new technologies.
Based on the results of an early-stage Health Technology Assessment, we improved a proposed therapeutic intervention strategy, making the proposal fundable within the scope of our Clinical Proof-of-Concept Programme.
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.
International recognition of our research team quality
The quality of Oncode’s research team was highlighted by successful national and international competitive grant awards.
Elzo de Wit and Ruben van Boxtel received a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant, Geert Kops an ERC Synergy Grant, and Carl Figdor an ERC Advanced Grant. Personal grants from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) were awarded to Leila Akkari (Vidi grant) and Karin de Visser and Jurgen Marteijn (Vici grants). Among international awards, Anne Rios received the 2019 St. Baldrick’s Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award, and Wilbert Zwart received a 2019 ASPIRE award.
The primary output of basic oncology research is scientific papers. In 2019, many papers authored by Oncode researchers were published in top-tier journals.
In total, 463 papers by Oncode researchers were published in peer-reviewed journals. Among these, many were collaborative studies between multiple Oncode research groups.
Funding advanced technology
Via our Infrastructure & Technologies Programme we fund key infrastructures and technologies needed for basic science research, based on their usefulness to the wider Oncode community and their expected long-term value and impact.
In 2019, Oncode funded five broadly applicable advanced applications with a total budget of almost €4M.
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
Valorization Director (until May 2020)