The Avicenna Project met for their third event on 31st October 2014 in Lyon, France. The group of 50 expert stakeholders, from industry, regulatory affairs and academia, came together to discuss the research challenges of modelling and simulation technologies, in the development of pharmaceutical products and medical devices.
The one day event, the third in a series of five, is aimed at designing a pathway towards the successful modernisation of the clinical trials process. The goal is to make clinical trials leaner, quicker, more efficient and less expensive.
Set in the Mercure Lyon Centre Saxe Lafayette Hotel, the day began with presentations from six experts on the research challenges related to in silico clinical trials in pharma and devices. Each presentation was followed by a lively question and answer session.
Professor Amin Rostami, from Manchester University, presented on the challenges of forming and maintaining consortia. Professor Marco Viceconti, from Sheffield University, presented on in silico methods, specifically related to hip replacements. Alfonso Bueno-Orovio, from the University of Oxford, addressed the subject of systems approaches to pharmacology and toxicology.
Following a coffee break, Horst Hahn, from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, presented on the simulation and modelling of liver perfusion. David Mitton, from the University of Lyon, discussed the research challenges of developing meshes for hernia repair. Finally, Professor Gabriele Dubini, from the Politecnico di Milano, addressed the topic of modelling vascular devices and fatigue behaviour of peripheral stents.
Following lunch, there were a series of brainstorming sessions, in which the attendees were asked to identify the research priorities related to their specific areas of expertise. Their conclusions will be used to form recommendations to the EC and other research funding agencies with the goal of increasing the capability and usefulness of computer modelling and simulation in the development and assessment of biomedical products. The aim is to define a research agenda that is driven by the needs of producers, regulators, medical professionals and patients.
At the close of the event, delegates were asked to sign up to help edit and/or author the Avicenna Roadmap. This policy document will form the basis for a strategy for in silico clinical trials. It will be published at the project’s conclusion in September 2015.
The Avicenna meeting was preceded by a popular social networking event, which involved a presentation on local wines and a dinner at the famous l’ermitage Hotel overlooking the city. The Event was partially funded by non-binding research grants from Ansys Inc. and Covidien plc.