As scientists unlock the human genome and map perturbation networks there is the prospect of personalised medicine, which will have huge human and commercial implications. As well as being able to provide individuals with a more targeted care, this branch of the health industry also holds vast business opportunities, particularly in Europe with its ageing population.
Luxembourg has staked its claim by teaming up with two world-renowned American research institutes - the Translational Genomics Institute (TGen) and the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in Seattle - as well with the Phoenix-based Partnership for Personalized Medicine (PPM) initiative, which will cooperate with local experts on three projects: a bio-bank, a systems biology centre and a research cooperation to validate markers for lung cancer. Backed with substantial public funding, this initiative aims helping the country raise its profile in the global research community and augment local expertise, more particularly in the field of molecular diagnostics.
Using the country's traditional openness, the bio-bank will be accessible to international research projects. The project will also benefit from the expertise in IT data security which has been developed within the financial sector. Luxembourg's central location, skills, multilingualism, beneficial fiscal environment, proximity to international researchers, neutrality and attractive IP provisions will all play a role in making the country an attractive prospect in this important field.