LUMC does research on new coronavirus inhibitors

Researchers at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), together with seven European partners, aim to develop new antiviral therapy options to fight coronaviruses. Their research proposal SCORE (for Swift Coronavirus Therapeutics Response) has been selected for funding by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme (2,6 million euros). The work has already started while the remaining formalities are being completed.

Therapeutic vaccine boosts survival rate in cervical cancer patients

A therapeutic vaccine against HPV-16 (type 16 human papillomavirus) improves the survival rate in cervical cancer patients. A new study by ISA Pharmaceuticals B.V. (a Leiden-based biotechnology company) and the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) shows that this vaccine produces a more robust response if it is combined with chemotherapy. The results of this study have been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

2.5 million euros European grant for vaccine against autoimmune diseases

Professor of Experimental Rheumatology René Toes has received a 2.5 million euro grant from the European Research Council (ERC). He is going to use the so-called Advanced Grant for research into curing autoimmune diseases using a vaccine.

LUMC collaborates with French therapy developer HORAMA to develop gene therapy

The Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) has exclusively licensed its recently developed gene therapy program to treat Inherited Retinal Dystrophy to French therapy developer HORAMA for further clinical development.

Virologists align system to classify viruses with that of cellular organisms

A group of virus experts representing the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) has announced a fundamental change to the way viruses are systematically classified. The transformed taxonomy system allows scientists to classify viruses in a hierarchical structure similar to that used for cellular organisms, like animals, bacteria and plants. The ICTV describes their decision and its implications in a Consensus Statement in the scientific journal Nature Microbiology.

Two LUMC professors elected as new KNAW members

LUMC professors Maria Yazdanbakhsh and Frans van der Helm have been elected as new members of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). They have been chosen on the basis of their scientific achievements and will be installed later this year.

Four million euros to develop new form of MRI scan

Over the coming years, 15 young researchers will be working on a new form of quantitative medical imaging with MRI. A 12-member consortium led by the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) received a four million euro grant from the European Commission for this research.

First clinical trial with genetically modified malaria vaccine completed

In an innovative study, Radboudumc and LUMC jointly tested a candidate vaccine based on a genetically weakened malaria parasite. The results of this clinical trial, published in Science Translational Medicine, show that the vaccine is safe and elicits a defense response against a malaria infection.

LUMC constructs the largest stem cell facility for the Netherlands and beyond

Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) will start this year with the construction of the largest non-profit stem cell and gene therapy facility in the Netherlands, and one of the largest facilities in Europe. In the ‘NECSTGEN’ facility, the Netherlands Centre for the Clinical advancement of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies, research will be conducted in the field of regenerative medicine; medicine that restores or replaces diseased cells, tissues and organs. In NECSTGEN, researchers are working on the breakthroughs of the future, such as insulin-producing cells grown on demand for diabetes patients.

Stevin Prize for immunologist Ton Schumacher

Immunologist Ton Schumacher of the Netherlands Cancer Institute, also Professor at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), is being awarded the Stevin Prize. With the Spinoza Prize, the winners of which are also being announced today, this is the highest academic prize in the Netherlands. The Stevin Prize is awarded to researchers whose research has major social impact.

Spinoza Prize for Leiden cell biologist, immunologist and chemist Sjaak Neefjes

Sjaak Neefjes, Professor of Chemical Immunology at Leiden University, will receive the NWO Spinoza Prize this year. The Spinoza Committee called Neefjes an ‘exceptional researcher whose intelligence is matched by his boldness’. He will use the 2.5 million euro prize to pursue his research into cancer drugs that have less harmful side-effects.