The Landspítali University Hospital in Iceland has received a grant of 2.5m USD (ISK 300 million) to build a biobank in connection with one of the most comprehensive scientific studies ever conducted in the world. A total of 80,000 people in Iceland participate in the study titled iStopMM (Iceland Screens Treats or Prevents Multiple Myeloma).
The grant is delivered through the Black Swan Research Initiative at the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF). This is the oldest and largest fund in the world that supports research on cancer of plasma cells with the goal to promote healing of multiple tumors and improved quality of life for patients both through research, education, support and counseling. The disease, currently incurable afflicts more than 200,000 people globally.
The study, launched in 2016, is conducted by the University of Iceland, the Icelandic Cancer Society, and Landspítali University Hospital. As described by iStopMM, the “aim of the study is to examine what effects screening has on the outcome of patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), an asymptomatic precursor to myeloma.”
The grant now enables the team, led by Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson and his colleagues, to build a unique biobank around the project. In total, 80,000 people were accepted into study, and around 2,200 individuals have been identified with having a genetic precursor for the condition. Throughout the study, 16 people have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, or a related disease, and have begun treatment at the National Hospital.
The funding will enable the team to significantly amplify the research, in addition to recruiting more scientists to the team. There are now 15 full-time employees, in addition to five doctoral students and 20 co-researchers.
For more information on iStopMM, please visit https://www.blodskimun.is/about.
Life science companies, such as medical device companies, incorporated in Iceland benefit from low corporate tax and encouraging financial incentives for the clinical trial R&D and commercial applications.
Parties interested in learning more about the Icelandic biotech and life science sector should contact Invest in Iceland for further information.