Thursday May 5th 2022



The European Spatial Biology Center (ESBC): State-of-the-art spatial biology services enabled at scale in Leuven in collaboration with KU Leuven and VIB. The ESBC celebrates its grand opening at the hands of the Minister-President of Flanders, Jan Jambon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Spatial biology is the next frontier in life sciences and beyond. It enables studying the precise cellular architecture of tissues and organs in health, how these cells communicate and cooperate to execute tissue functions, as well as the orchestration of organ development itself. Furthermore, interrogation of cells in their native tissue context will also disclose important processes in disease, including how perturbation in cell-cell interactions can spark this. These insights will unravel new mechanisms of homeostasis and disease progression and will pave the path to novel treatment modalities and precision medicine. To enable these novel analyses at scale, the European Spatial Biology Center (ESBC NV) has been established in Leuven.

The ESBC celebrates its grand opening at the hands of the Minister-President of Flanders, Jan Jambon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 4th at 5 PM at Campus Gasthuisberg. The event also marks the announcement of ESBC’s collaboration with the KU Leuven Institute for Single Cell Omics (LISCO) and VIB. Joining in these festivities will be the research, and scientific staff of KU Leuven and VIB, investors, representatives of Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT), technology partners (Resolve Biosciences, HSE), and representatives of IQVIA – a clinical research company.

The ESBC, has the ambition to become the world-leading center for advanced state-of-the-art spatial biology analyses and services at scale, and their applications in biomedical and biological disciplines. The partnership of ESBC with the unique ecosystem established by KU Leuven and VIB will additionally promote the development and commercialization of novel spatial multi-omics technologies, and further encourage scientific collaborations among research groups, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, both locally and (inter)nationally.

The ESBC will be the center to: 

  • Generate and derive novel insights from spatial biology (big) data 

  • Drive metascience projects and clinical studies 

  • Scale spatial technologies developed in the ecosystem 

  • Allow networking possibilities for academic and industrial partners across the globe 

ESBC has established a joint Go-To-Market agreement with IQVIA – a leading global healthcare and clinical development company. Frank Swaelens, Vice President and General Manager IQVIA Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, stated ‘IQVIA is a world leader in using data, technology, advanced analytics and human expertise to drive healthcare forward. We are delighted to partner with ESBC as a way to offer our clients new ways to gain novel biological insights from cells. Together we can achieve more to accelerate innovations for a healthier world.’