Press release - Geleen, 5 November 2019
Research institute Chemelot InSciTe lays the foundation for new activity in Limburg with a new service model in Life Sciences & Health
Medace BV, a start-up that helps to bring medical innovations to the patient faster and more efficiently, will open a 'full service learning and working environment' in Maastricht in January 2020 where 20 companies or academic development projects can work simultaneously on the development of biomedical materials, implants, cell therapy and combination (regenerative medicine) products. Medace's service model has been developed within the Chemelot Institute for Science & Technology (InSciTe) in Geleen, which demonstrates that not only their research projects but also their working methods are leading to new activities in the Limburg region.
At InSciTe in Geleen, dozens of researchers and entrepreneurs work side by side to translate promising biomedical ideas from the academic setting into new products and therapies for patients. However, the route from patent to patient is a long one due to the high development costs and complex regulations. In order to accelerate this process, InSciTe developed a facilitating ISO-certified model with all the necessary production elements: With infrastructure (such as clean rooms and validated equipment), specific knowledge of quality management and international regulations and the provision of qualified personnel and training. Services can be purchased flexibly depending on the phase of product development, which makes the process faster and less cost-intensive.
The recognition of the value of this model came quickly and 4 years after the opening of the InSciTe biomedical facility in Geleen there is a need for an independent company with larger facilities to be able to serve more parties.
The InSciTe employees who were involved in the development of the model (Danielle Curfs and Kurt Gielen), realize these new facilities in Maastricht and continue as an entrepreneur in Medace. Emiel Staring, director of InSciTe, is enthusiastic about the future collaboration:
'The involvement of our former team members guarantees quality. We are transferring our current facility in Geleen to a third party and will be one of the first Medace customers to continue our projects at the new location.'
Bio-medical hub in Maastricht
At the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus, more than 2000 m² of lab and clean rooms will be realized in an existing building. The confidence in the possibilities of Medace is evidenced by the 7.4 million euros that the company has raised in order to realise its ambitions. Investments from Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus, Brightlands Chemelot Campus, LIOF, Maastricht University, Maastricht UMC+ and the Province of Limburg contribute to this.
Joost van den Akker, Regional Minister of Economy and Knowledge Infrastructure Province of Limburg sees opportunities:
'Medace creates a landing place for new ideas and activities on the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus. Together with the ideas originating from this Campus, Medace brings these to human application. Once fully grown, they can be produced on a larger scale at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. With this unique facility, Brightlands strengthens its international competitiveness.'
Medace CEO Danielle Curfs focuses on the importance of the patient in her daily work:
'I am convinced that the route to ultimately the patient will become less complex and look forward to making many more promising concepts available for patients.'
Read more about the Medace activities in this (Dutch) article published by Science Guide.
* The development and validation of the biomedical service model, the Biomedical Accelerator Matrix (BEAM-NL), was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Province of Limburg in the context of the Operation Program South Netherlands (OPZuid).