Profile and themes of LBSP
Early diagnosis and technological innovations for drug development help to detect diseases at an earlier stage and enable more rapid and effective responses at a personal level. For instance, this can be done by screening metabolites for signs of particular abnormalities. It also involves making personalised diagnoses and having the ability to test potential reactions to therapies on an individual level prior to administration. This is where technologies such as organ-on-a-chip come into play. Organ-on-chip technology has the potential to reduce animal testing when developing new medicines and drugs.
A closely related theme is regenerative medicine that focuses on the repair of damaged cells, tissues and organs. This field will have an enormously positive impact on healthy life expectancy and help cure chronic diseases. Regenerative medicine in Leiden concentrates on a new category of therapies known as advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs): the body’s own cells are reprogrammed both inside the body and in a laboratory setting to cure otherwise untreatable diseases like cancer.
Lifestyle interventions play an important role in disease prevention and can also contribute to more effective recovery from or treatment of disease. Various organisations at LBSP collaborate at the intersection of prevention and nutrition, assisted by IT, e-health, virtual clinics, blended care and clustering.
Unlike medicines that treat the sick, vaccines preventing infectious diseases are intended for healthy people. Vaccines have saved countless lives in recent decades and have profoundly changed the state of public health. Many vaccines are produced in Leiden and several organisations at LBSP have been closely involved in the recent development and manufacturing of the Janssen and the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
AI and data science is considered vital if we are to accelerate developments in each of the above themes. That is why it is crucial to further integrate this technology to efficiently analyse the large amount of available data.