The potential of in silico medicine and VPH tools for in silico clinical trials get discussed at the 13th annual Evolution Summit in Monte Carlo
The 13th annual Evolution Summit, which occurred between October 20 and 22 in Monte Carlo, is a prestigious conference and discussion forum in the pharmaceutical/biomedical sector. The summit offers clinical research leaders and global CROs an intimate environment for focused discussion of key new drivers shaping drug development strategies.
Speakers included representatives from a range of entities in the pharmaceutical and biomedical space such as Johnson & Johnson, the European Confederation of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs, Vifor Pharma, Grunenthal, Promethera Biosciences, among others; with academic participation from University College London and the University of Southampton. Leslie Galloway, who is the Chairman of the Ethical Medicines Industry Group, chaired the conference.
The topics of the conference varied widely, with a central focus around innovative drug development processes. This topic was tackled from a multiple directions, including the innovation of scientific research strategies, the optimisation of patient recruitment, the implementation of creative business models and outsourcing, and the inclusion of computer and data analytics technologies.
The VPH Initiative featured prominently in the closing keynote by Dr. Riam Kanso from University College London. The talk was perceived as a forward-looking exploration into the future of medicine via in silico frameworks. The vision behind VPH was presented, with an overview over some research work as a case example in the cardiovascular space. Avicenna was presented as a strategy for the improvement of in silico drug trials, in addition to a brief overview of the policy implications of computational biomedicine. The talk also showcased the futuristic ambition of the VPH framework to inform a person’s lifestyle choices.
The talk was well received by the audience and sparked a discussion about personalised medicine and computational tools. The merits of in silico medicine and in silico clinical trials were explored over extended discussions. The summit had a few prominent examples of the pharmaceutical industry’s reliance on patient groups, and the shortcomings of that approach in terms of delivering novel drugs befitting a patient’s needs.
There was an overwhelming consensus that the future of medicine lay in personalisation, and there was agreement that modelling and simulation will have an increasingly important role. However, traditional methods are unlikely to disappear altogether in short timescales. More effective collaboration between industry and academia, and an openness to embrace novel computational methods, are badly needed. Without such measures, in addition to some foresight in policy-making, it will be hard to deliver the promise of in silico medicine.More information on the conference website