Next steps towards translation
Lung Foundation Netherlands has recently initiated the LungHealth investment fund, with the aim to take a crucial step towards realizing solutions for lung patients. LungHealth aims to develop promising results from scientific research into (commercially available) products that prevent or cure lung diseases. Products that are desperately needed. In the Netherlands alone, there are 1.2 million Dutch people with an incurable lung disease and this number is continuing to grow.
The LONGFONDS | Accelerate program is accelerating a medical breakthrough by means of international collaboration. "We now take the lead on the follow-up steps that are necessary to actually bring scientific breakthroughs to the patient as a solution," says Michael Rutgers, chief executive at Lung Foundation Netherlands and initiator of LungHealth. "Researchers are doing a great job, but unfortunately they have few options for taking the next steps in bringing their findings to the market. That is why parties who know how to make and market medicines and other (medical) products are also needed. They must also raise the necessary money for this. Unfortunately, there are few market players in the lung field working on this translation into actual products. That is why we took the initiative and set up the LungHealth investment fund."
The Fair Medicine principle is an important fundament: affordable care that makes no-one rich. Possible returns from LungHealth must be invested back into research and the realization of solutions. The new investment fund will ensure that there are companies that can realize the further development of discoveries from the research table to the market. They do this by bringing researchers and their scientific discoveries together with potential investors in new companies. The investment fund works independently and is a separate entity. Lung Foundation Netherlands continues to focus on financing and accelerating scientific research.
Rutgers has a clear goal for the coming years: "If a modest number of patents have been registered within five years and have been further developed with possible solutions for lung repair or prevention of asthma, then LungHealth has made a good start."
Rutgers even foresees that the current generation of those in their fifties will get to experience the arrival of a possibility for repairing lung cells in COPD patients. "With all of the new developments, I expect that we will start seeing the first human studies to identify if lung tissue can be restored within five to seven years."