Welcome LetterEuropean Congress on Personalised Medicine, Belfast 2017
Personalising Your Health: A Global Imperative!
As co-chairs of the Congress Steering Group from the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine we would like to invite you to participate in our first Personalised Medicine Congress to be held in the capital of Northern Ireland next November.
The four-day congress (27-30 November) is entitled ‘“Personalising Your Health: A Global Imperative!” , and will be held in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and Visit Belfast.
Most people have heard of the spectacular Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim. It’s an area of tens-of-thousands of interlocking basalt columns whose tops form stepping stones that lead from the bottom of a cliff and disappear under the sea. The tallest of these are in the region of 12 metres high. While it’s not true that the causeway was actually caused by the treads of a huge being (it was actually long ago volcanic activity), it brings to mind the phrase ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’.
Let’s take into account the unbelievable advances in medical science recently – notably in genetics – and the ‘giant’ that is science is proving to be a rock-solid foundation for swiftly moving advances in healthcare across Europe.
The Congress in Belfast aims to broaden the reach of personalised medicine across the EU and will pick up from the, by then, five annual conferences held by the Alliance. At the event, key stakeholders will meet to discuss barriers to the integration of personalised medicine and the main actions that need to be taken.
All sessions will include a keynote speech plus a panel discussion and are designed to be interactive focused on integrating personalised medicine into healthcare systems and ensuring innovation is brought to the patients.
Areas specifically covered will be diseases, general science issues (Big Data, genomics etcetera) and a focus on the view, progress and health landscape in various Member States.
It is clear that, as well as top-down regulation in important areas such as data protection, IVDs, clinical trials and more, a bottom-up process also needs to be employed to make the most of these burgeoning new healthcare opportunities for the benefit of all patients.
The Congress is intended to be a two-way street (or giant causeway) linking the European Union to Member States and Member States back to Europe. This is a vital ebb-and-flow process that is required at grassroots level and will represent an important step along the road to sharing best practices and deciding actions by consensus.
Much has been achieved through stakeholder interaction at the four annual EAPM conferences held do far (with more expected at the fifth event in March 2017), with involvement from policymakers/regulators, MEPs, national healthcare officials, patient groups, HTA bodies, academics, researchers, healthcare professionals, industry representatives and more.
As well as the above stakeholders who will form part of the Congress programme proper, organisations are invited to hold their own side meetings/roundtables and industry-sponsored sessions in dedicated rooms.
An exhibition hall will also be on site with a view to showcasing the latest developments in technology coming through in the personalised medicine arena.
The Congress will provide ideal opportunities to engage with high-level players in the person-alised medicine arena and the Belfast event will represent an ideal platform at which senior representatives can speak and engage with politicians, Commission officials and the EMA while expressing their opinions, concerns and common objectives to peer-group experts.
The aim is to shape the EU health landscape now and into the future, and recommendations emerging from the Congress will look to steer policy and relevant legislation in the wake of the influential Council Conclusions, formulated under the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU in late 2015.
On behalf of EAPM, we would be delighted to see you at this prestigious and influential event.
Signed Denis Horgan, Mark Lawler and Mary Baker
European Alliance for Personalised Medicine
Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology
European Brain Council
In Close Collaboration With Our Partners
EAPM brings together European healthcare experts, patient advocates involved with chronic diseases, industry, researchers, academics and cross-party Members of the European Parliament (among others). Its aim is to improve patient care by accelerating the development, delivery and uptake of personalised medicine and diagnostics, through consensus building.
The Alliance’s stakeholders focus, not just on the delivery of the right treatment for the right patient at the right time, but also on the right preventative measures to ensure reliable and sustainable healthcare.
In response to the need for a wider understanding of the priorities arising from growing discussion on personalised medicine, EAPM was launched in March 2012 to foster a more integrated approach to the topic among lay and professional stakeholders.