IMAGIO consortium receives Innovative Health Initiative EUR 24 million grant to improve cancer treatments

June 15, 2023

  • The Innovative Health Initiative has awarded a EUR 24 million grant to the IMAGIO consortium of clinical partners coordinated by Philips, with additional resources and funding from industry partners
  • The consortium will carry out research into improving clinical outcomes through less invasive treatments for lung cancer, liver cancer and soft tissue sarcomas

Amsterdam, the NetherlandsRoyal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced that the Philips-coordinated IMAGIO consortium [1] of clinical partners has been awarded a EUR 24 million Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) grant, complemented with additional resources and funding from industry partners [2], to carry out research into less invasive cancer treatments. Consisting of approximately 30 partners, the consortium will use the funding to improve clinical outcomes with interventional oncology innovations focused on lung cancer, liver cancer and soft tissue sarcomas. Leading European hospitals participating in the consortium include Leiden, Maastricht, Radboud and Utrecht University Medical Centers in the Netherlands and University Hospital of Cologne in Germany.

In Europe about 2.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year [3]. While significant advances have been made in treatment, many approaches continue to have negative side effects, impacting healthy tissues as well as targeting the cancer itself. The aim of interventional oncology is the very precise treatment of cancer cells with small instruments supported by imaging modalities such as MRI, ultrasound and CT. Treatment is carried out through targeted surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or high-intensity focused ultrasound. In addition to reducing damage to healthy tissues, expanding the use of minimally or non-invasive procedures also decreases the need for major surgery.

“By bringing together leading university medical centers, academic partners, patient and healthcare professional organizations, as well as smaller and larger companies in the medical technology and pharmaceutical industry, the IMAGIO consortium has the potential to make a significant impact on improving cancer treatment,” said Bert van Meurs, Chief Business Leader Image Guided Therapy and Chief Business Leader Precision Diagnosis (ad interim) at Royal Philips. “We’ve chosen to focus on liver and lung cancer – two leading causes of death – alongside soft tissue sarcomas, a highly aggressive form of cancer that affects a significant proportion of young individuals, causing a lot of human suffering. By advancing established treatments and developing new approaches, we aim to improve clinical outcomes.”

Specific projects taking place in the consortium include:

  • Collaboration with Radboud University Medical Center and other partners including Jansen Pharmaceutica, Pfizer, Flash Pathology, VU, ETH, ImaginAb Inc. and Eberhards Karls University Tübingen to further expand diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment of lung cancer supported by Philips’ Azurion image-guided therapy platform. Read more.
  • Collaboration with Leiden and Maastricht University Medical Centers to improve the diagnosis and treatment of liver cancer using CT, ultrasound, precision marking and ablation technology.
  • Collaboration with University Medical Center Utrecht and TU Delft to improve the treatment of liver cancer through radioembolization (a type of radiation therapy) supported by hybrid imaging modalities. Read more.
  • Collaboration between University Hospital of Cologne, Profound Medical and Philips to treat soft tissue sarcomas with MR-guided high intensity focused ultrasound (MR-HIFU) in combination with Thermosome’s lead drug candidate THE001, which is a thermosensitive liposomal formulation of doxorubicin developed in soft tissue sarcoma.

[1] The IMAGIO consortium – IMaging and Advanced Guidance for workflow optimization in Interventional Oncology – includes the following partners Philips, UMC Utrecht, LUMC, University Hospital of Cologne, TU Delft, Radboudumc, Luxium Solutions, Flash Pathology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Profound Medical, Gremse-IT, Thermosome, MUMC+, Nederlandse Leverpatiënten Vereniging, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori, Eberhards Karls University Tübingen, European Cancer Patient Coalition, Stichting Longkanker Nederland, ImaginAb Inc., Pfizer Inc., Universiteit Twente, Nanovi, Turku University Hospital, SIOP Europe, Janssen Pharmaceutica; and associated partners Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich and The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
[2] The industry partners are members of COCIR, EFPIA, EuropaBio and MedTech Europe.
[3] European Commission, Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan https://health.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2022-02/eu_cancer-plan_en_0.pdf.

This project is supported by the Innovative Health Initiative Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 101112053. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program and life science industries represented by COCIR, EFPIA, EuropaBio, MedTech Europe and Vaccines Europe.

Disclaimer: IMAGIO is funded by the European Union, private members, and those contributing partners of the IHI JU. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the aforementioned parties. Neither of the aforementioned parties can be held responsible for them.

For further information, please contact:
Mark Groves
Philips Global Press Office
Tel: +31 631 639 916
Email: mark.groves@philips.com

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and well-being through meaningful innovation. Philips’ patient- and people-centric innovation leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver personal health solutions for consumers and professional health solutions for healthcare providers and their patients in the hospital and the home. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, ultrasound, image-guided therapy, monitoring and enterprise informatics, as well as in personal health. Philips generated 2022 sales of EUR 17.8 billion and employs approximately 74,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.

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