As scientists unlock the human genome and map perturbation networks, there is the prospect of personalised medicine, which will have huge human and commercial implications. The Grand Duchy is turning into a specialist centre dedicated to the life sciences sector, thanks to the skill it already has in molecular diagnostics, bio-IT, medical IT, and medical devices. This initiative is part of the effort to diversify the Luxembourg economy.
The Grand Duchy has staked its claim by teaming up with two world-renowned American research institutes — the Translational Genomics Institute (TGen) and the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in Seattle — as well as the Phoenix-based Partnership for Personalised Medicine (PPM), working with experts from the University of Luxembourg and various public research centres on three projects:
- a biobank, the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL);
- a centre for systemic biology, the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB);
- a research cooperation into the validation of markers for lung cancer.
Backed by substantial public funding, this initiative aims at helping the country raise its profile in the global research community and increase local expertise, more particularly in the field of molecular diagnostics. In keeping with the country's traditional openness, international research projects will be able to access the biobank. The project will also benefit from the expertise in computerised data security which has been developed within the financial sector.
Other areas covered include medical and diagnostic tools. Indeed, situated at the intersection between technology and biomedicine, these sectors offer opportunities for interesting synergies with well-established research and economic activities, such as materials sciences, clinical engineering and the plastics industry. Support services, such as IT specialists, IP management and logistics, constitute a further development niche where the Grand Duchy can build on existing strengths as well as the state-of-the-art equipment of its public research centres and its university. Nonetheless, the government remains open to other opportunities that may arise in the context of either major research projects or business ventures.
Luxembourg BioHealth Cluster
The Luxembourg BioHealth Cluster is a network giving support to different key players in the sector of health technologies in the Grand Duchy by helping them to develop synergies and new national and international partnerships through RDI projects.