#PersonalisedMedicineCongress – 3-4 December, Brussels 

| October 18, 2019

EAPM is pleased to announce that registration for its 3rd Annual Congress is now open, to view the agenda click here and you can book your place at the 3-4 December event in Brussels here, writes European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) Executive Director Denis Horgan.

This year’s Congress will be held at the University Foundation in the Capital of Europe and, while we may not be able to solve all the problems that Brexit will surely bring, we certainly will be aiming to further the goals of personalised medicine for the benefit of Europe’s patients, hopefully with your input!  

Brexit will, of course, certainly be on the table. And things seem to be moving again, finally, in that department as EU27 leaders at this week’s summit adopted the last-minute agreement with Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

We’ll see what happens in London, now (how could we forget that Theresa May’s original deal was rejected three times?) as what promises to a very tight vote in Parliament looms tomorrow (Saturday).

Labour and, surprise, surprise!, the DUP have already pledged to reject it, so will there be yet another extension beyond 31 October with Boris found ‘dead in a ditch’? We’ll see…

Either way, the health section of the deal is exactly the same as was in the deal negotiated by May, including a mutual-recognition agreement for medicines with the rest of Europe, a pledge to “explore the possibility” of UK cooperation with the European Medicines Agency, and an agreement to cooperate in matters of health security as the EU currently does with third countries.

Elsewhere, Germany has already said it will go big on digitalisation during its Council Presidency from July 2020. The trouble is, its own system is out-of-date. Due to politics within the country, Germany is behind many smaller countries who are already exchanging e-prescriptions, for example.

Health Minister Jens Spahn’s is facing resistance over requiring German health insurers to pay for apps helping patients manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes, and the security of patients’ data in respect of the costly job of encoding patient records. Whither that German efficiency we all know and love, eh?

So, back to the Congress…

Brussels has been chosen to host the event as the new Parliament is of course now in place, while the next European Commission will very shortly have its feet firmly under the tables ofthe Berlaymont under its new president Ursula von der Leyen.

The theme of the event, during the Finnish Presidency, will be Forward together with innovation: The importance of policy making in the era of personalised medicine.

Congress will showcase different objectives which both the public and private sector can support, with a view to allowing the EU to present a common objective. 

As always, the Congress will be in a focused format to allow concrete issues to be tackled and to have a dialogue with our policymakers, and is a follow-on from the past two successful editions in Belfast and Milan, as well as our seven well-attended and influential annual conferences.

More than 200 Life Sciences thought leaders are expected to convene and, as in the past two years, the event will bring together key audiences who contribute to the vast programme content and vital knowledge exchange. 

One of the goals of Congress is to engage politicians and lawmakers in the fast-growing field of personalised medicine, and deliver political asks through our consensus-based process. 

Europe needs to grasp the fact that health equals wealth and that investment in research and innovation, alongside laws and rules that are fit-for-purpose and reflect the swiftly changing world of medicine, are vital. Hence our continued interaction with MEPs, Commissioners and Member State health leaders. 

EAPM also aims to showcase developments and new ideas at Congress. For example, development of major initiatives in genomics and personalised medicine is a global trend with significant investments being committed, for example by the governments of the US and China. 

So what’s on the table this year?

Personalised medicine is becoming more-and-more mainstream, but we’ve still a long way to go. So the opening session on Day One of the event will cover ‘Facilitating an environment for delivery of better health care for the EU and member states.

This will be followed by sessions on big data and health care, public health, translational research and bringing innovation into health-care systems. A drinks reception and dinner in the European Parliament will close the day and evening with speakers looking at public health genomics in the personalised medicine era, and the Key drivers in the healthcare arena.

Day two should be full and productive with sessions on the current hot topic of the orphan regulation, evidence frameworks, plus Value-based outcomes and biomarkers.

Biomarkers were discussed recently at an EAPM satellite event which took place at the ESMO Congress in Madrid.

Of course, there remain a number of key challenges that need to be met to ensure genomics and related technologies are applied such that we can fully realise the potential of personalised medicine to improve health care and reduce costs.

Biomarkers are important here, being characteristics that are objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.

Meanwhile, also discussed in Barcelona were ways tocreate a framework and networks to develop an environment to facilitate personalised healthcare quicker and faster.

Access for the public and patients is key and, among other components reliable, concrete real-world evidence can facilitate this.

Further investment in the development of methodologies and a European repository for evaluation methods and evidence of digital health services should be encouraged.

EAPM and its stakeholders have emphasized the importance(as has the European Commission)of data interoperability, particularly in the context of collecting, sharing, and manipulation of data and recommended the use and development of international classifications and terminologies to increase interoperability. 

On top of this, member state governments could play a more active role in the further optimisation both of the process of decision-making (both at the central and decentralised level) and the related outcomes

A further hot topic at the 3rd Annual Congress – HTA and reimbursement- is sure to bring about a lively debate, while the final session of the two-day on 4 December will seek to provide agenda items for the new political term running from now until 2024.

It all promises to be a lively, informative and productive couple of days, sodont miss the opportunity to join large numbers of industry professionals, government regulators, patients, academia, and exhibitors to drive insights to action.

To view the agenda click here and you can book your place at the 3-4 December event in Brussels via here.

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