IDEA Summit 2014

Leif Groop (LUDC) chairs a session focusing on Stratified Medicine. The panel consisted of Marc Donath (University Hospital Basel), Bernd Jablonka (Sanofi), Francois Pattou (Lille University Hospital) and Catherine Larue (Integrated Biobanks of Luxemburg).

Last year, LUDC established a unique European event dedicated to bridging the gap between academic research and the market for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diabetes; IDEA Summit. This year, the meeting was co-organized together with Eurasanté and the Nutrition Health Longevity Cluster. 

Bernd Jablonka emphasizing the need for biomarker validation strategies in order to allow implementation of discovered biomarkers in the clinic.

More than 100 participants gathered on December 3rd in Lille, France. 14 countries were represented at the meeting; 40 percent of the delegates were from academia and 40 percent from pharma, biotech and medtech industries, with the remaining delegates representing investors and cluster organizations.

LUDC Innovation Office sponsored the participation of four LUDC scientists with an interest in innovation and translational diabetes research; Jens Lagerstedt, Sonja Ruhnke, Hanna Skärstrand and Petter Vikman.

The conference programme consisted of presentations and panel discussions covering recent clinical achievements and innovations, unmet clinical needs, various aspects of collaboration between academia and industry, and also information concerning what big pharma and biotech companies look for when scouting new innovation externally. Leif Groop chaired a much appreciated session in which he pinpointed the need for novel predictive biomarkers and genetic markers that will allow a more personalized approach in diabetes care and diagnostics, an area where academia and industry can make a collective effort.

There was intense interaction in-between sessions; the programme included pre-booked one-to-one partnering sessions enabling LUDC to explore a multitude of collaborative opportunities. Altogether, there was a great interest in the research performed at LUDC, and we had several meetings with both big pharma and smaller biotech companies; many new contacts were made that now will be followed up on.

Farzad Abdi-Dezfuli (Sarsia Seed Management), Bart Staels (University of Lille 2), Florence Dal Degan (Zealand Pharma), Jan Oscarsson (AstraZeneca) and Christine Reynet (MCC+R&D Consulting) discussing how to establish constructive partnerships between academia and industry.

So, now that the conference is over; what was the big theme at IDEA Summit 2014? Many talks highlighted that there is still a great unmet need within diabetes care. Today, only 6 percent of treated patients reach target level for good glycemic control (HbA1c ≤7.0%), and associated complications continue to present a huge burden for both patients and society. Although the gap between academia and industry appear to have grown (due to big pharma’s increasing focus on drug development) there was a clear consensus that academia and industry have to join forces to overcome these hurdles. So called valorization platforms that can facilitate maturation of academic research by providing drug discovery competence and funding to academic projects with commercial potential should be established. Such platforms should aim to rapidly translate new concepts to PoC in man and must be characterized by win-win for both parties.

Finally, meetings like IDEA Summit are clearly essential starting points for obtaining an increased understanding of each other’s expectations and needs, and for establishing a common goal. These meetings will build trust between academia and industry, and this trust will be the foundation for future cross-sectorial collaborations. 

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Last updated: December 12, 2014
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