Laura van’t Veer, PhD, cofounder and chief research officer of Agendia, Irvine, Calif, has won the European Inventor Award in the small- and medium-sized enterprises category. Presented by the European Patent Office, the European Inventor Award is a prestigious innovation award, with only 15 inventors nominated in a total of five categories worldwide.
One of the three finalists in her category, van’t Veer is the coinventor of the MammaPrint breast cancer test, a genetic diagnostic test used to estimate the risk of breast cancer recurrence up to 20 years into the future. According to Agendia, the use of MammaPrint in patients diagnosed with breast cancer can constrain the use of chemotherapy and reduce overtreatment by 30%. Women shown to be at high risk of metastasis may benefit from chemotherapy treatment. On the other hand, if the test reports the risk of recurrence as low, the patient can avoid chemotherapy and instead pursue alternative treatment methods.
“Van’t Veer’s work has revolutionized cancer diagnostics by making it possible for treatments to be tailored to the individual needs of each patient,” said Benoît Battistelli, president of the European Patent Office, during the ceremony. “This makes her one of the most outstanding European inventors in the area of individualized medicine.”
The test has been used for more than 40,000 women in 34 countries to date.
Currently leader of the breast oncology program and a professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, van’t Veer’s research focuses on the molecular basis for an early response to therapy, in order to manage the development of companion diagnostics.
“We are extremely proud of Dr. Van’t Veer and congratulate her on winning this prestigious international award,” says Jan Egberts, chief executive of Agendia. “This accolade is a testament to the importance of her contribution to breast cancer care for women now and in the future and will help in creating a more prudent healthcare economy. All of us at Agendia are honored to support Dr. Van’t Veer’s extraordinary achievements and to help ensure her progress in the future.”
For more information, visit Agendia.