On 11 October 2016, MEP Nicola Caputo (S&D, Italy) and Sean Kelly (EEP, Ireland) hosted the launch event of the Avicenna Alliance in the European Parliament in Brussels, which was moderated by Alison Abbott from Nature Magazine.
The Avicenna Alliance event "In Silico- turning Big Data into Personalized Medicine" was sponsored and co-organised by VPHi, which represents the
academic side of the Alliance.
Key stakeholders participated to the event such as HOPE, CPME, EFN and CAAT, confirming the interest in this novel topic. The event featured presentations from important industry and research players as ANSYS, Medtronic, Dompé, the VPH Institute and a keynote presentation by Dr. Tina Morrison from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Dr. Tina Morrison outlined how US regulatory authorities are looking at key issues such as how to validate the effectiveness and usefulness of models that are submitted as evidence of the benefits of products. The goal of her presentation was also to share how FDA views modeling and simulation and FDA’s role in advancing regulatory science in this field. From her presentation it was clear that the FDA has identified an important role for modeling and simulation in its strategic priorities.
Thus, it seems that the US is a forerunner in the field of in silico medicine and the EU has still a lot to catch up with.
This was also largely reflected in the presentations of the speakers, as there was a general consensus that computer modeling and simulation has tremendous potential for healthcare. However, the current EU policy framework doesn’t fit the purpose in the light of constantly new emerging technologies.
As a results of the interesting discussions emerged during the workshop, in 2017 the Avicenna Alliance in collaboration with the VPHi scientific community will focus on bringing all actors together to work on developing new policy solutions necessary to update the legislative framework. The Avicenna Alliance also wishes to continue its cooperation with the European Commission, FDA and the European Parliament in order to see how to harmonize policies to take on in silico.