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Prosensa; Pioneering and Partnering is a Harvard Business Style Case on the success of the Biotech company Prosensa and Dutch Life Sciences &  Health cluster. The case is written by The Decision Institute: Prof. dr. Fred van Eenennaam, Kim Bruheim, Msc., ir. Roald van Leeuwen and Fred Vuijk, Bsc . The objective is to demonstrate a success story of the Dutch biotech cluster which can be used for teaching at various universities and for promotional activities within the Netherlands or abroad. A consortium consisting of Leiden University, LSH, LUMC, NGI, PGGM, Prosensa, and expecially all interviewees and editors, made it possible to develop the case.

Via this page, The Decision Institute offers additional support to teach the case and provides more indepth information on Prosensa,  Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the Dutch biotech cluster.  The website will be updated regularly and more materials are being developed.

1. Short summary of the Prosensa; Pioneering & Partnering Case
2. Ordering your own copy
3. Events & Case Discussions
4. Teaching support
5. Links to useful websites
6. Supportive Videos
7. Visiting The Netherlands and Prosensa
8. The Prosensa Case in the media
9. The Prosensa Case Teaching Worldwide
10. Other Dutch Clusters and cases

1. Short summary of the Prosensa; Pioneering & Partnering Case

The Prosensa case demonstrates a biotech company that has shown a decade of successful growth and development which resulted in a partnership signed in 2009 with GSK for the lead products for Duchenne disease. Founded as a spin-off from Leiden medical university in 2002, Prosensa developed crucial partnership with patient organization from the start. Crucial in the success of Prosensa is the patient orientation. Signing the deal with GSK for 518 million in milestone payments is life changing deal for Prosensa. The challenge faced is coming from a small start-up company and develop to a specialty biopharma company focused on rare diseases while keeping patient oriented focus and entrepreneurial culture. The following subjects are covered in the case: Dutch LSH Cluster, Partnering, Patient centered drug development, Orphan Drug Development, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Exon Skipping, Entrepreneurship, Life Sciences.

2. Ordering your own copy

To get your own copy, you can order it via Kim Bruheim, Msc.

3. Events & Case Discussions

(under construction)

The Prosensa case will be used for case-discussions and lessons from different areas. On this site, the open case discussions and events around the Prosensa Case will be placed.

  • Apply by sending a mail to Kim Bruheim if you are interested in a case discussion on the Prosensa Case.
  • Contact us if you have suggestions of events or occasions where the case can be used.

4. Teaching support

As additional support to the case we can provide:

  • Short Skype or conference call before your lecture
  • Distant teaching (guest lecture) via skype/video conferencing
  • Live guest lecture at your university or business school

People that could help you with this:

Writer of the case Prof. Dr. Fred van Eenennaam is an expert in the field of Strategy, Governance and Competitiveness. See www.thedecisioninstitute.org/academic for his academic positions. He is working with Prof. Dr. Porter and Prof. Dr. Ketels in the Micro-economics of Competitiveness Program, set up  a number of leading commissioners and board programs and performs directorships at a number of companies and organizations.

Writer of the case Kim Bruheim, Msc. works on consulting projects at The Decision Group, of which The Decision Institute is an affiliate. She has a Life Sciences background as Biomedical Scientist and now works on various projects on Life Sciences, Health and Clusters and Competitiveness. She is responsible for the Value of Diagnostics Initiative and  has been working on various Value Based Healthcare projects.

5. Links to useful websites

6. Supportive Videos

Television Commercial of the patientorganization The Duchenne Parent Project. Justus, a Duchenne boy, asked his father whether his heart is a muscle too. The video is used to create more awareness and is translated in serveral languages.

ZonMW Parelproject video: Moleculaire pleister voor Duchenne. A Dutch video of a subsidy project of the Dutch Goverment to stimulate innovative research. The video explains the orphan disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

IOP Genomics Exon skipping project, is a video about exonskipping, the potential treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Agentschap NL, the Dutch Government organization which has provided Prosensa various subsidies.

PharmaTelevision News Review episode Luc Dochez, Chief Business Officer of Prosensa.

7. Visiting The Netherlands and Prosensa

If you plan on visiting The Netherlands we can help organize a trip through the Dutch Life Science Cluster. The visit can be combined with a visit to other Dutch clusters, such as the Port of Rotterdam or the Eindhoven High Tech Campus.
Please send an e-mail to k.bruheim@thedecisioninstitute.org if we can be of any help. A visiting package is available and we can help arranging accommodation and transport.

Visits typically include:

  • Visiting the Leiden Bioscience Park and Prosensa
  • Visiting the High Tech Campus Eindhoven
  • Visit to Amsterdam.
  • Visit to other Dutch clusters. For instance:
    – Dutch Flower Cluster (FloraHolland, auction)
    – Port of Rotterdam (Transportation, Petrochemics and Dredging)
    – Schiphol Airport

8. The Prosensa Case in the media

(under construction)

9. The Prosensa Case Teaching Worldwide

In the near future, the Prosensa Case will be taught at various leading universities and business schools worldwide. The case will be introduced by the MoC network.  In 2012, Prof. dr. Fred van Eenennaam will teach  the case at St. Gallen (Switzerland) and The George Washington University, (Washington D.C., USA)

10. Other Dutch Clusters and Cases

The Decision Institute has indepth knowledge of clusters and affiliate The Decision Group performs consulting projects, studies and monitors for Dutch clusters and associations. More information on The Decision Group’s cluster projects can be found here.

Another Harvard Business Case is witten about the Dutch Flower Cluster.  Prof. Dr. Fred van Eenennaam of The Decision Institute is cowriter of the case, together with writers Professors Michael E Porter and Jorge Ramirez Vallejo of Harvard Business School and with the help of FloraHolland. The case is part of the MoC MBA course  and was launched on April 5th. The first teaching of the case was  performed at Harvard Business School by Prof. Dr. Michael E. Porter. Prof. Dr. Fred van Eenennaam and Dirk Hogervorst operated as protagonists. Visit the The Dutch Flower Cluster website to learn more on the possibilities of the  case.

A shortlist of  other clusters in The Netherlands:

  • Port of Rotterdam transportation cluster with subclusters in dredging, shipbuilding and petrochemics (www.portofrotterdam.com)
  • Food Valley (around Wageningen university; www.foodvalley.nl)
  • High Tech Campus in Eindhoven (www.hightechcampus.nl)
  • Schiphol Airport (www.schiphol.nl/index_en.html)
  • Chemelot chemicals campus (www.chemelot.nl/?taal=en)

The  IMBA class of Prof. dr. Fred van Eenennaam and Prof. Dr. Pablo Collazzo wrote some prizewinning and and runner up cases for the Microeconomics of Competitiveness course – case writing challenge at Harvard.

Port of Rotterdam
Dutch Dredging Cluster
Taiwanese Bicycle Cluster
Australian Mining Cluster


In 2011 the Dutch Government has pointed out 9 “topgebieden” (top areas) which are important sectors for the Netherlands. The Dutch top areas or clusters that were picked by the minister of Economic Affairs are Horticulture & propagation materials (Flower Cluster); Life Sciences & Health; Logistics (Port of Rotterdam, Schiphol); Agrofood; Water; Energy; Chemicals, High tech and Creative industry.

More about Dutch government policy can be found on www.agentschapnl.nl

June 17th 2011, all top areas presented their plans to the Minister of Economic Affairs.  Click to download the report with action lines for the next 20 years for the Dutch Life Sciences & Health Cluster. We’ve translated the main action lines for this sector in the following documents: Summary of action lines for Life Sciences & Health, click here

Our affiliate The Decision Group presents a yearly Outlook for the Dutch Life Sciences & Health sector. In the Top sector Report of Life Sciences, The Decision Groups monitoring methodology is used in the Top sector’s plans.