Fair Medicine at EATRIS in Prague

Fair Medicine attended a conference organised by EATRIS on Translational Medicines 2017 from 24 to 26 September in Prague. Report by Frans de Loos, director with Fair Medicine.

A lot of promising medicines fail between the discovery phase in university and the development phase in industry. Translational medicine helps to bring a promising discovery to a valuable medicine (‘bench to bedside approach’) and has the interest of Fair Medicine. Coalitions that are organised by Fair Medicine can be more effective when they are efficient in this phase of the development. Losing time and money will make medicines unnecessarily more expensive.

At the EATRIS conference a new initiative was announced that will leverage this part of the development process to the science it needs to be (further reading: article by Florence Bietrix )

A selection of take-home messages from the conference:

  1. Select the right project, be aware what the patient, doctor and the market need and develop products in dialogue with these groups.
  2. Fail early, or phrased differently; kill your darlings. Hanging on to projects that are not making the progress you need is wasting money and resources.
  3. Regulators stressed to initiate early discussions with the agencies about the development of a product. Advise for SME’s is often free and the regulators will be creative in using the regulation when you come with a product that is innovative and for an unmet medical need.
  4. Apply all the rules and know the whole process at the very start of the project; making creative shortcuts is not an option.
    In discussions we raised the topic of changing the developmental system of medicines that will make it less expensive to bring a product to the patient.
  5. Fair Medicine is applying the take-home messages to its own projects. For example, we are requesting early advice from the local authorities on our first product before we start development of the first prototypes.

The EATRIS organisation facilitated a great meeting that allowed us to connect with key stakeholders and identify new opportunities for Fair Medicine.