Unique Phase 1 facility
Peter Hermans, professor in Infection and Immunology Trials, is involved in the collaboration on behalf of UMC Utrecht. He explains: “If Phase 1 research takes place with us, there is a good chance that the next phases will also be carried out here. The facility is therefore especially important for both the hospital and our patients, who will have faster access to new and better drugs.”
Gisberts adds: “TASK’s expertise and quality standards are of tremendous value in this respect. As a non-profit global player with an impressive track record in clinical research, the institute is a sound partner for us in setting up this unique facility.”
In the Netherlands, there are currently two facilities for Phase 1 research attached to a university hospital – in Leiden and Groningen. “Both facilities concentrate on a limited number of research areas”, says Hermans. “The facility in Utrecht will be the first and only in-house Phase 1 unit in our country to focus on all of a hospital’s established research areas. The advantage is that no ambulance is required in case of a complication, as clinicians are immediately on hand.”
The six spearheads of UMC Utrecht are cardiovascular diseases, neurosciences, infection and immunology, oncology, paediatrics and regenerative medicine. “We have multifaceted clinical expertise in-house, which makes our facility highly attractive”, asserts Hermans.
TASK landing in Utrecht assisted by Invest in Holland and ROM Utrecht Region
TASK has been working with a number of Dutch universities for around 15 years. Like U-TRIAL, the institute’s ambition is to improve healthcare by facilitating academic research. TASK was introduced to the Dutch network and regional development agency ROM Utrecht Region via NFIA, part of Invest in Holland. ROM Utrecht Region is committed to attracting foreign companies to the region and put TASK in touch with U‑TRIAL and UMC Utrecht.
Gisberts emphasises: “Without ROM Utrecht Region, TASK would probably have ended up in another European country. So, at U-TRIAL, we are immensely pleased with the connecting and supportive role played by the agency.”