ITTBioMed: the platform to enhance innovation and technology transfer

The weight of biotech in the pharmaceutical sciences is growing from 20% of the drugs produced in 2012 will constitute 80% in 2030. Italy is among the poles of excellence in Europe but must increase its attractiveness towards venture capital and encourage collaboration between public and private

Great research that speaks little to industries: a typical limit of Italy that in the coming years could be exceeded. Also, from initiatives such as the platform presented by Edra in the ITTBioMed, Innovation & Technology Transfer in Biomedicine forum held at the MIND Milano Innovation District, founding partner, with the sponsorship of Lendlease  and the media partnership of the european project T-Factor
The ITTBioMed platform is part of a new publishing initiative that includes a new publication and a virtual place to bring together public, private, venture capital, startup, university, and other stakeholders’ hospitals on pure and translational research topics in biotech and pharma.
The objective of the project, as explained by Giorgio Racagni, ITTBioMed Editor in Chief and Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology at the University of Milan, is to support and exploit Italian potential in the areas of innovation, technology transfer, production, and access to innovative medicines. The platform, in English, will facilitate interdisciplinary exchanges between Italian and foreign research centers, industrial world, institutions such as the National Agency of Medicine.

Racagni recalls that in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, funding for research and development is provided for both Mission 4 Training and 6 Health for a total of 12 billion.
«The problem to solve is how to transfer the research we do in therapy and diagnostic products», summarizes Monica Di Luca, Director of the Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences of the University of Milan, and makes the example of Neuroscience, discipline of which the European Federation presides.
«Diseases in this field affect 179 million European citizens at a social cost of EUR 800 billion per year. Italy boasts a search for excellence, but if we already look at the mass of articles related to projects for which research has started, we are already below the average of the European Union, and so on patents. We must learn to put our forces together; it is essential considering the time to develop a drug (for the central nervous system are 18 years of average against 12 of the other disciplines). We need to team up, mobilize investors, promote new ideas, integrate new disciplines (one example above all, optogenetics, combining optics with genetics for the treatment of blindness), stimulate the collection of a critical mass of data, and finally physically bring skills closer together if obsolete laws and legal and fiscal barriers do not help synergies».

Europe is making decisive efforts to bring together those who do research and those who produce and market therapies. In the forum, Marco Zibellini of Farmindustria and Luca Pani, Professor of Pharmacology, University of Modena and Reggio and Psychiatry at the University of Miami, cite European projects such as the Innovative Institute of Health, which brings together research actors from different countries in bilateral talks leading to agreements; or premises such as FIT – Fondazione Innovazione e Trasferimento di Regione Lombardia that unites four public IRCCS (Policlinico, Besta, Tumori, San Matteo).

The new Edra platform is a place for dialogue between local and international “incubators“. With an eye to the most innovative experiment, that we look at abroad: the MIND district that is emerging between Milan and Baranzate on the ground of Expo 2015. A physical place where dialogue develops in pre-competitive research between researchers from the University of Milan, Human Technopole, Politecnico di Milano, the new Galeazzi Institute and 41 companies between start-ups and multinational drug companies.

Paola Testori Coggi, yesterday Director General Health of the European Commission and today Ambassador for Future Health and Federate Innovation at MIND, has mentioned a parallel, decisive change in European legislation. This involves the adoption by early 2024 of a regulation on the use of health data and their re-use for research purposes. In addition to citizens and health, the data may be obtained from those with interest and right, upon request, without difficulty and in line with the General Data Protection Regulation. And they will be interoperable, mutually legible by the health systems of the 27 Member States. Italy is at the forefront of implementing a regulation that includes patients’ rights and progress.

English translation from the Italian newspaper Farmacista33, published by Edra S.p.A;