A unique Dutch cross-disease collaboration has received EUR 15 million to undertake vital immunological research that could benefit people affected by a number of chronic immune diseases, including MS.

The new partnership brings together health charities, including the Dutch MS Research Foundation, the government, scientists and corporate bodies across the Netherlands to support research into the immune system in chronic immune diseases such as MS, diabetes and cancer.

A well-functioning immune system is vital to maintaining good physical health. In chronic immune diseases such as MS, however, there is an imbalance in the functioning of the immune system. This new initiative, ‘Immune balance’, aims to deepen our understanding of how the immune system works so that scientists can modify the response of the immune system at an earlier stage of disease.

Finding solutions

Emiel Rolink, CEO of the Association of the Dutch Health Charities (SGF) said: ‘We have brought together the top Dutch immunologists to carry out this important task. Together, we can bring a better and faster solution and give persons suffering from these terrible diseases hope for the future.’

The Dutch MS Research Foundation is optimistic about the potential benefits of the project. ‘We believe that this research will also bring important insights into the pathology of MS’ said a representative of the organisation. ‘The immune system is very complex; the only way to fully understand its complexity is to look at it from different perspectives. It is very special that the companies, research institutes, charities and the government have joined forces to invest in this large research alliance.’