The Horizon 2020 program awarded the innovative training network (ITN) grant to NattoPharma’s International Research Network. It will provide training for 11 early stage researchers in the management of chronic diseases in the field of cardiovascular disease.
The network, which is based at Queen Mary University of London, includes four other academic institutions – the University of Maastricht, University College of Dublin, Ludvig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen, and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm – as well as the Medical Research Council Technology, an independent life science medical research charity in the UK.
Leon Schurgers, Professor at CARIM, Maastrichts University, said: "The Horizon 2020 research grant is one of the most pretigious grants in Europe. The successful grant assignment and the opportunity to allocate highly qualified researchers to further work on vitamin K research is a great recognition of the vitamin K2 platform by this collaboration so far".
The grant will allow NattoPharma to continue working on the researching and documenting the benefits of menaquinone 7, a vitamin K2 which is branded as MenaQ7 by the company. The company has been working on the benefits of MenaQ7 , alongside Maastricht University since 2004.
As well as the grant, €2.9 million was awarded to EVOLuTION – European Vascular Interventions and Therapeutic Innovation Network – in which NattoPharma participates, in 2015 and is being used to fund two full-time researchers focusing on MenaQ7.
Hogne Vik, NattoPharma’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “The beneficial effects of MenaQ7 on bone and vasculature is what has driven our marketing efforts. Through EVOLuTION, NattoPharma will now have access to two full-time PhD-candidates that will be focused on exploring existing and potential new mechanisms for biological effects and health benefits for menaquinone-7”.
"One of the fundamental outcomes of this grant is the ability for the researchers at the University of Maastricht to continue to pursue basic science regarding the metabolism of calcium. Clearly this group and NattoPharma have significantly supported development of science over the past 8 years, and this is a tremendous burden to take on alone, so we welcome additional funds," Vik added,