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There is more to biomarkers

Building the Future of Life in Groningen
10 May 2017
BiomarkerBay logo
Text by Neeltje Miedema, Research & Valorisation

Kick started in 2015, customers from the Health & Life Sciences sector worldwide, including Singapore and Spain, have already taken the opportunity to do business with BiomarkerBay. BiomarkerBay is a service concept that brings together academic expertise (UMCG, University of Groningen) and five contract research organizations to provide integrated services for the validation, bioanalysis and clinical testing of novel biomarkers and companion diagnostics. B iomarkers are measurable indicators of the severity or presence of some disease.

Dr. Ymke van der Geld, director Business Development and Dr. Martin Smit, member of the Board of BiomarkerBay, are convinced of the unique selling points of the Groningen based biomarker organization.

BiomarkerBay team: Ymke van der Geld, Martin Smit & Elena Merlo
BiomarkerBay team: Ymke van der Geld, Martin Smit & Elena Merlo

What is more to BiomarkerBay?

Ymke: ‘We provide an unique concept of integrated biomarker solutions for the academic community and industry. We offer a full range of biomarker services, including biomarkers discovery & confirmation, assay development and validation, regulatory diagnostic approval & adaptation and a vast set of possibilities for bioanalysis and clinical validation, in cooperation with biobanks . All services provided under- one-roof concept, by pairing knowledge and expertise from key-opinion leaders in academia to the commercial interests of our CRO partners.

Martin: ‘The region of Northern Netherlands is highly active and well recognized for its contributions in the field of biomarkerresearch, drug discovery, early disease diagnosis and health care. But the presence of new knowledge and novel biomarker solutions are often unnoticed. The BiomarkerBay office, located at the UMCG, provides visibility to the new biomarker developments available in the region and provides a community platform for the academic society and industry with the aim to strengthen biomarker research and health innovation.’

Ymke: ‘ BiomarkerBay helps in the communication between commercial entities and academics, helping them "to speak the same language’. Potential customers that are interested in doing biomarker work, can directly contact BiomarkerBay with a specific question and we will take care of providing a fast and suitable answer by connecting with one or more (academic) partners of the BiomarkerBay network. This can result in a new project, that will bring in work, additional funding and results that may turn into publications.’

Biomarker Bay
Biomarker Bay

What is BiomarkerBay’s business concept?

Ymke: ‘The University of Groningen, UMCG, and 5 contract research organizations (CRO’s; namely ABL, Brains Online, IQ corporation, Syncom and QPS) in the Northern Netherlands are working together under the umbrella of the BiomarkerBay programme. Customers who call on BiomarkerBay services are offered one contact, one proposal and one contract for a commercial fee for all BiomarkerBay services.’

Martin: ‘Partly, the profits will be paid out as return on investment to the CRO partners and to UG and UMCG researchers who performed the BiomarkerBay services. The profits can be used to invest in new research or new business. Partly the service profits go to the BiomarkerBay organisation.’

Ymke: ‘In this start-up phase, BiomarkerBay is cofunded by the Province of Groningen and the CRO’s partners. In the long term, BiomarkerBay will be transformed into a separate entity called BiomarkerBay BV.’


Are there any (research) request limits to BiomarkerBay services?

Ymke: ‘Only if a specific expertise lacks amongst our BiomarkerBay and research partners. But it did not happen yet.’

What is BiomarkerBay’s societal impact?

Ymke: ’Biomarker Bay works towards biomarker guided early diagnosis strategies and personalized medicine. With our services, we work towards the development of complex individual health status biomarker profiles for both healthy individuals and patients.’

Martin: ‘BiomarkerBay is key partner of the Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands and we are located at the Healthy Ageing Campus in Groningen. Our services contribute to develop a Northern Netherlands healthy ageing ecosystem where high-quality researchers and entrepreneurs work together on 'growing old in a healthy way'. This eco structure provides new jobs, new business, and new research opportunities. In European perspective, the Northern Netherlands is leading in Healthy Ageing research.

When is BiomarkerBay successful?

Ymke: ‘From a commercial perspective: when BiomarkerBay will be a profitable organization. BiomarkerBay was started in 2015, we are now in the startup phase, our expectation is to be self-sustainable in about 3 years.’

Martin: ‘From the health care perspective: when BiomarkerBay contributes significantly to innovative health care solutions. Researchers of University Groningen and UMCG are highly active in the field of biomarker research. Only in the last year, a number of peer reviewed articles with new biomarker assays for heart failure, neurology and respiratory diseases have been published and are made available via the BiomarkerBay platform. Up-to-now, the BiomarkerBay assay database counts more than 900 biomarker assays and we expect many more to be added in the future. There is more to biomarkers with BiomarkerBay, definitely!

Contact & information

Do you want to know more about BiomarkerBay? Are you interested in BiomarkerBay services & capabilities?

The BiomarkerBay service concept is initiated by the UMCG Center for Development and Innovation (CDI).

Last modified:08 May 2018 11.25 a.m.

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