On Tuesday, June 20th, the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) and the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL) welcomed H.R.H. Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Mr Franz Fayot, Minister of Economy, and Mr Claude Meisch, Minister of Higher Education and Research, for a visit of the Luxembourg Clinical and Translational Research Centre (LCTR Fuerschungsklinik Lëtzebuerg), which aimed to illustrate its operations and role in promoting societal and economic development in the Grand Duchy.
Co-managed by both the CHL and the LIH, in close cooperation with Hôpitaux Robert Schuman (HRS) and the Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch (CHEM), the LCTR Fuerschungsklinik is the first national research infrastructure that brings together clinicians, researchers and patients with the aim of translating research findings into tangible therapeutic and diagnostic solutions. The centre, which opened its doors in December 2022, pools together cutting-edge research infrastructure, medical equipment, and administrative and project management support from the Research Unit of the CHL and from the Translational Medicine Operations Hub (TMOH) of the LIH, making them available to researchers and clinicians from Luxembourg’s hospitals and research institutions. “The ultimate goal of the LCTR is to foster the development of novel personalised medical solutions to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of major chronic diseases – such as cancer, infectious diseases, and immune and neurodegenerative disorders – thereby addressing currently unmet patient needs”, explains Prof Ulf Nehrbass, CEO of the LIH.
The guided visit kicked off with welcome speeches by Dr Romain Nati (CEO of the CHL) and Prof Nehrbass, focusing particularly on the economic impact of this and other research infrastructures in Luxembourg, as well as on the promotion of research in the Grand Duchy.
Specifically, Dr Hermann Thien, Director of the TMOH, and Dr Manon Gantenbein, Head of the Clinical and Epidemiological Investigation Centre (CIEC) of the LIH, displayed the services that platforms and infrastructures such as the LCTR, TMOH and CIEC can provide to support the setup and implementation of international clinical trials in Luxembourg.
In addition, Dr Guy Fagherazzi, Director of the LIH Department of Precision Health, addressed a key topic in digital health, namely the societal impact of research on digital vocal biomarkers and Artificial Intelligence on patient monitoring.
Finally, Prof Rejko Krüger, Director of Transversal Translational Medicine (TTM) at the LIH, illustrated how clinical research can be translated into personalised digital health solutions to tackle the increasingly relevant burden of neurodegenerative disorders in our ageing society – a topic of particular interest to the Hereditary Grand Duke.
Luxembourg is characterised by a close-knit biomedical research ecosystem, boasting cutting-edge research and healthcare infrastructure, as well as highly qualified scientists and clinicians. Not only are these assets crucial in generating concrete societal benefits for the population, but also in fostering further economic growth for the country. Indeed, competence and technology hubs like the LCTR, TMOH and CIEC will allow us to increasingly attract, retain and support both established international pharmaceutical companies, as well as innovative start-ups seeking to establish their operations in the Grand Duchy. By providing them with the equipment, biological samples, clinical data and dedicated project management expertise they need to carry out their clinical trials and studies and develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic solutions, we are an attractive destination
states Prof. Nehrbass, LIH CEO
“Indeed, we have already demonstrated the added-value of our services and expertise through our recent participation in several international projects and clinical trials, from SCOL and PADOVA for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, to DISCOVERY for COVID-19 treatment, just to name a few, as well as in upcoming studies over the coming months”, he adds.
As a reminder, the LCTR and associated support teams are open to all hospitals, research institutes, and companies wishing to carry out translational research projects in Luxembourg, subject to prior approval by a dedicated Translational Selection Committee and project funding.
The LCTR receives financial support from FEDER.
About the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH)
The Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) is a public biomedical research organization focused on precision health and invested in becoming a leading reference in Europe for the translation of scientific excellence into meaningful benefits for patients.
LIH places the patient at the heart of all its activities, driven by a collective obligation towards society to use knowledge and technology arising from research on patient derived data to have a direct impact on people’s health. Its dedicated teams of multidisciplinary researchers strive for excellence, generating relevant knowledge linked to immune related diseases and cancer.
The institute embraces collaborations, disruptive technology and process innovation as unique opportunities to improve the application of diagnostics and therapeutics with the long-term goal of preventing disease.
About the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg
A state-of-the-art hospital with 587 beds and a national reference centre for many disciplines, the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL) provides innovative diagnostic and treatment services that meet internationally recognised quality standards accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), as well as a teaching and research mission as a public institution. www.chl.lu
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