Startup Medace brings medical innovations faster to the patient
Maastricht, 21 May 2019 - Medace BV, a unique service provider to bring medical innovations to the patient faster and more efficiently, has raised 7.4 million euros from investors to expand their ambitions. The service model that Medace uses is developed within the Chemelot Institute for Science & Technology (InSciTe). With this model, Medace will establish itself on the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus as an independent company. Maastricht Holding, LIOF, Maastricht UMC+, Brightlands Health Campus, Brightlands Chemelot Campus and the Province of Limburg provide the financing.
In Medace's concept, clients are guided to develop their prototype into a medical product themselves. In the new environment, Medace has office infrastructure as well as a complete ISO-certified quality management system for its working environment including cleanrooms, equipment, training and professionals.
From 1 January 2020, Medace will be able to simultaneously service 20 companies and academic developments at the new location. Focused on the development of biomedical materials, implants, cell therapy and combination (regenerative medicine) products, the Medace model is unique for the Netherlands and beyond.
Born out of frustration
The concept of Medace originates from within the facilities of InSciTe. Here researchers and entrepreneurs work side-by-side to translate promising biomedical ideas from the academis setting into new products and therapies for patients. Danielle Curfs, CEO of Medace, explains the emergence of the Medace concept:
"Within InSciTe I worked on a daily basis with driven people who became frustrated because of the high development costs and the complex laws and regulations. I saw good ideas left on the shelf. Not because they didn't work, but because the route to the patient is so complex. That is why we have developed a model* in which all the necessary production elements are offered in a selection menu. You take what you need for the phase that the product development is in, from infrastructure to people and everything ISO certified. That way you can serve many more parties faster and with significantly fewer resources. In addition, the learning element is huge because everyone runs into similar problems.
Emiel Staring, managing director of InSciTe adds enthusiastically: "It is fantastic to see not only our projects but also our working methods lead to new activities. We are now transferring our current facility to a third party and as one of the Medace customers we will continue to execute our projects at the new location."
Outgrown the cradle
The recognition of the value of this model came quickly and 4 years after the opening of the InSciTe facility in Geleen, there is a need for an independent company with more extensive facilities to serve a greater number of parties. These facilities will be realized on the Brightlands Health Campus in Maastricht. With the help of the municipality of Maastricht, more than 2,000 m2 of lab and clean rooms are being built in an existing building.
Vivianne Heijnen, economics councillor of the municipality of Maastricht explains: “We are very happy with the arrival of Medace in our city. Leading biomedical companies such as these are important for the further growth of the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus. In collaboration with our Business Contact Point, Medace is transforming part of an empty office building into a high-tech laboratory and research facility. That means not only new jobs, but also more opportunities for our region to retain and attract talent."
Tys van Elk, managing director of LIOF states: “The beauty of Medace is that it offers a solution for both starting and established entrepreneurs who are looking for a professional environment for medical product development. With Medace, we expect to be able to offer a strong and globally unique concept in this region in collaboration with the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus and the Brightlands Chemelot Campus.”
“Knowledge valorisation is becoming increasingly important for us as a University as an extension of our academic research. Medace offers us a springboard with which the results of scientific research can be further developed into new medical products and services, ultimately leading to new employment and more economic activity in Limburg and beyond”, according to Wim Bens, CEO UM Holding.
Joost van den Akker, Regional Minister of Economy and Knowledge Infrastructure Province of Limburg concludes: “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."
*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).