The CTMM Portfolio

Public-private partnerships to develop innovative medical technologies


Cancer, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, infectious, and autoimmune diseases are among the leading causes of disease burden for patients and society. The Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) was established in 2008 to address these areas, supported by FES funding (Dutch natural gas reserve fund).

icon_Money €321 M

allocated budget

icon_Hands 133


About the CTMM Portfolio

CTMM was set up to help drive the development of molecular diagnostics and molecular imaging technologies, focusing on translational aspects of molecular medicine. The goal was to ensure that scientific results can be applied as quickly as possible in patient care – with earlier and more precise diagnosis of disease, and the design of highly personalized therapies.

All Dutch university medical centers, several universities, and more than 90 companies were involved in a wide range of CTMM research projects. These projects combined R&D, clinical resources, and research infrastructure so that patients with complex diseases could benefit from innovative treatments. A strong translational focus was reflected by financial support for the projects from six Dutch health foundations. In all, CTMM had 133 partners, with €321 million in allocated budget until the end of 2015, and was part of 32 projects/consortia.

Examples of CTMM consortia and their outputs include:

  • Translational Research IT (TraIT): sustainable infrastructure for biomedical research (download pdf, output dated 31 December 2016. Tools and services developed in TraIT are continued within Health-RI)
  • PREDICCT: early diagnoses and treatment of diabetes (download pdf in Englishdownload pdf in Dutch)
  • Breast CARE: predicting therapy response in breast cancer patients (download pdf)
  • Circulating Cells: investigation of 'circulating cells' (e.g. white blood cells and platelets) to see if they carry biomarkers suitable for identifying patients with an increased risk of developing unstable plaques (download pdf in Englishdownload pdf in Dutch)
  • LeARN: development and evaluation of tools for an earlier and more reliable diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease (download pdf)
  • Patient Involvement for Translational Research: A step-by-step patient involvement guide that can be used during current projects or when preparing future project proposals (in Dutch) (download pdf) and a method to help patients have their say (in Dutch) (download pdf
  • Medical Technology Assessment (MTA): sustainable, accessible and high-quality powerful tools to provide necessary decision support during process of translational research (download pdf)

Translating science into better healthcare

Program management and scientific expertise 
CTMM was an independent partner – able to balance the many competing priorities within a large public-private partnership. Team members have PhD degrees and experience within industrial settings, ensuring academic and commercial credibility. This means they can help to guide projects towards delivering the best achievable combination of real-world clinical applications and commercial returns, along with journal publications and post-doc/ PhD opportunities.

Research infrastructure
Solutions developed during the course of the CTMM program have also been turned into generic translational research infrastructure. The TraIT project is one example, providing a research IT infrastructure capable of collecting, storing, analyzing, archiving, and securing the vast data volumes generated during operational medical research projects.

By merging with TI Pharma to form Lygature, CTMM became part of an organization capable of addressing major challenges within medical technology and pharmacotherapy. Lygature brings together public and private partners, and creates solutions that exploit molecular diagnostics and molecular imaging as well as drug development.

Project updates

  • CTMM portfolio book now available

    The FES2006 era has come to an end. To summarize and highlight its results, CTMM has published a book: ‘Translating Science into Better Healthcare’. The book also touches upon the Dutch Life Sciences & Health sector and its potential for the future.

    The CTMM program has already given rise to a wide variety of new products and clinical procedures with clear benefits for patients. So far, the program has yielded more than 140 tests, assays, biomarkers, proofs of concept, first-in-man studies, patient cohorts and products. In the area of molecular imaging, 13 new PET tracers have been developed and tested in patients. For molecular diagnostics, 14 new in-vitro diagnostic test devices (both point-of-care and lab-on-chip) have been produced, some of which have already been CE-marked and introduced into the market. Looking back, CTMM has been much more than simply an experiment in bringing together different stakeholders to implement translational research. It has set a new standard of excellence for public-private collaborations.

    The CTMM organization has merged with TI Pharma and has become Lygature as of January 1st, 2016. Within the CTMM program seven projects, the so-called ‘pearls’, continue to run until 2017: translational projects that could radically improve patient outcomes for diseases.

  • Lygature: pioneering medicine together

    Utrecht, June 9, 2015 - Today, CTMM and TI Pharma, the two largest public-private top institutes in the Dutch top sector Life Sciences & Health, presented their plans and ambition for their joint future during the CTMM + TI Pharma Launch Meeting at the Muntgebouw in Utrecht. 

  • 5 million euros for CTMM research pearls

    The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs has granted 2.5 million euros to extend seven promising research projects aimed at medical innovation. 

    The projects, which are focused at debilitating and life-threatening diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and thrombosis, are part of the Dutch CTMM (Center for Translational Molecular Medicine) research program. CTMM's mission is to accelerate the introduction of medical innovations to patients via public-private partnerships collaborations. The companies and academic institutions involved in the seven projects will jointly contribute a matching 2.5 million euros, making a total of 5 million euros available over the next two years.

    "Medical innovation takes a long time. We are delighted that the Dutch government is investing in these research pearls," says Peter Luijten, CTMM Chief Scientific Officer. "Through their support, we can take the last step needed to translate the research results achieved over the last five years into concrete medical applications. This is very good news for patients as well as an important economic boost for the Netherlands."

    All seven research projects are in line with the roadmap of the Dutch Top Sector 'Life Sciences & Health' (LSH), one of nine sectors defined by the Dutch government to boost innovation. They are all extensions of previous high-quality research programs started in 2008 within the CTMM institute.

    "In 2008, the Dutch government, along with industry and universities, invested heavily in innovative medical research with the aid of revenue from the Dutch natural gas reserves," says Luijten. "With today's additional funding, the government is giving a positive signal that it recognizes the need for long-term investment to capitalize scientific knowledge into medical applications and benefit the whole society."