Danish Researchers One Step Closer to Cure Neurological Diseases  

2017.11.12

The treatment of brain diseases is on the verge of a breakthrough. A research team from Denmark is developing a new method that sneaks medicine past the human brain's defense systems, giving hope to the cure of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Epilepsy.

In close collaboration with researchers from Copenhagen University, Aarhus University, and the Technical University of Denmark, professor Torben Moos has developed a way to break through the natural barriers of the human brain. The hope is that this ground-breaking research will be able to cure a wide range of neurological diseases. Today, only treat the symptoms can be treated because brain cells – unlike all the human body's other organs – are enclosed in an advanced defense system that keeps medicine out.

“Normally, I do not brag, but we are actually on a verge of a breakthrough. We are more than halfway in our attempt to transport medicine from the blood stream into the brain. At the moment, we are able to enter the cells of the human brain capillaries, but we still have to figure out how to enter the brain neurons,” says Torben Moos, professor at the Institute for Medicine and Heath Technology at Aalborg University, Denmark.

The advantages of Danish academia
Denmark has a strong central nerve system (CNS) cluster, led by the Danish-Swedish life science cluster Medicon Valley and the research cluster within neuroscience and cognition at Aarhus University (AU) and Aarhus University Hospital (AUH), NeuroCampus Aarhus. The scientific achievements that Torben Moos and his research team have already obtained taps into this well-established and unique Danish research environment:
 
“What is special about Denmark is that research units from various universities work together within and across sectors and industries. In this way, we become one big research unit. When I travel, I meet research teams from the same country, which do not know about each other’s work. Hence, the tradition for collaboration in Denmark is part of the reason why we have come so far,” says Torben Moos.

Denmark is one of the most R&D intensity countries in the world. In 2016, Denmark ranked the best in Europe in regards to researcher concentration according to the Bloomberg Innovation Index Denmark. The same year, Scientific American ranked Denmark the best country for development of biotechnology. 

Collaboration is key
Being home to Lundbeck, which is one of the world’s leading CNS companies, Denmark excels when it comes to combining strong academic research with major commercial presence. The research, led by Torben Moss, is partly financed by the Lundbeck Foundation, an active industrial foundation established in 1954 by Grete Lundbeck, widow of the founder of Lundbeck. The foundation awards research grants to benefit Danish-based biomedical sciences research, science education and research communication.

“When we started our research, we were just a small research team working on exploring this topic. The financial support provided by the Lundbeck Foundation has been key to a strengthening of our research efforts. It is very rewarding that we now are able to benefit from the efforts of our common work,” Torben Moss says.

A long-standing Danish tradition
For Rasmus Beedholm-Ebsen, Ph.D., CBA, and Special Advisor at Invest in Denmark, it is no  surprise that Danish researchers has come this close to cure diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Epilepsy.

“In Denmark, there is a unique type of collaboration between researchers - and not only between researchers working within the same field. The research environment in Denmark stands out by being highly cross-sectional and interdisciplinary, which is required to come up with new solutions as to for example the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases,” he explains. However, according to Rasmus Beedholm-Ebsen, the current development within brain research is nothing new:
 
”A long-standing agricultural tradition created a research industry in Denmark more than 150 years ago and since then, research methods have continuously developed in Denmark. This is why Danish researchers on a regular basis can introduce new medicine and technologies to the global market.”

Want to know more about your business’ opportunities in a R&D intensive country?
Contact our advisors to learn more about business opportunities in Denmark and how we can help your company.

Rasmus Beedholm-Ebsen
Special Advisor
+45 2856 8540
rasbee@um.dk

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+45 2856 8540

rasbee@um.dk

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+45 2856 8540

rasbee@um.dk

Contact

Rasmus Beedholm-Ebsen

Rasmus Beedholm-Ebsen

+45 2856 8540

rasbee@um.dk

Contact

Rasmus Beedholm-Ebsen

Rasmus Beedholm-Ebsen

+45 2856 8540

rasbee@um.dk

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