NordForsk Announces Personalised Medicine Grants

        Arne Flåøyen

The Nordic countries, via their joint science funding agency NordForsk, will fund nearly €17 million in efforts to implement personalised medicine across the region. Seven groups were selected from among more than 40 applicants to address this challenge.

"There are many issues that pose obstacles to such implementation and overcoming these obstacles will require close cooperation between the research community, industry and the health care sector – as well as cross-border, cross-disciplinary innovation networks," said Arne Flåøyen, Nordforsk's director, in a press release.

The funded projects are:

  • NorDCaP—Project leader: Henrik Grönberg, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. The overall idea of NorDCaP is to accelerate the cross-Nordic implementation of a new personalised medicine approach that will ensure better and more accurate prostate cancer diagnostics. This will improve quality of life and patient survival, as well as ensure higher quality in patient care and a more cost-effective and sustainable health care system.
  • NordSleep—Project leader: Juha Töyräs, University of Eastern Finland. This research project introduces novel diagnostic approaches for sleep apnea that utilise minimally sleep-disturbing wearable sensors and state-of-the art artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions. The outcomes of this project can lead to a paradigm shift in the diagnostics and treatment of sleep apnea and have significant positive impact on Nordic health and society.
  • PM-HEART—Project leader: Henning Bundgaard​, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Denmark. The objective is to develop and clinically implement personalised medicine with the dual purpose of avoiding futile overtreatment as well as undertreatment in ischemic heart disease (IHD). The project hopes to reduce overall use of medication, reduce hospital visits and thus decrease health care expenses.
  • PERAID—Project leader: Anna Norrby-Teglund, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. The PERAID project proposes to implement personalised medicine in severe infectious diseases, specifically focusing on the life-threatening necrotising soft tissue infections (NSTI) as well as the large heterogeneous group of sepsis patients.
  • NORA Project leader: Johan Askling, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. The goal of the NORA project is to develop a personalised medicine approach for the management of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), both by the development of new prediction tools and by digital tools to bring these now insights to patients and to health care.
  • PRECISE—Project leader: Eline Aas, Norwegian Medicines Agency, Norway. PRECISE will contribute to improved health care decisions that facilitate the implementation of cost-effective interventions for personalised medicine in clinical practice. PRECISE will generate new health economic evidence based on real case studies that address important health care decisions.
  • NORDTREAT—Project leader: Jonas Halfvarson, Örebro University, Sweden. The overall aim is to improve the prognosis and quality of life of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by introducing a novel personalised medicine algorithm that is based on recently generated -omics data. NORDTREAT will reduce societal costs and improve quality of care for patients with IBD.