Politics / Law

Heard in Brussels – A brave new world for 2020?

04.11.2010

Brussels – The European Commission has finally published its long-awaited ‘2020 Flagship Initiative’ to build an ‘Innovation Union’. The report examines at where Europe is now and sets targets for the upcoming decade. Let's take a look at what impact it will have on biotech. The report starts with a frank admission of where Europe’s weaknesses lie and what member states and the European Commission must achieve. It is refreshingly open, recognising that strength of university research is not enough to compete globally on an economic level, and that the whole value chain needs improving.
The good news is that SMEs, SMEs, SMEs seem to be order of the day – with the recognition that Europe’s SMEs still face many hurdles delivering on their economic potential. It's clear that we won’t build a European Genzyme with the current structure. So what does the Commission intend to do in this ‘Son of Lisbon’? Ten years is not all that long, and bearing in mind that 2010 is nearly over, we had better get on with it!
European Innovation Partnerships are the first activity out of the bloc, with a focus on active and health ageing – that's good news for biotechnology here. Coordinating national investment, fast tracking regulation and more critical mass in procurement are very attractive and have long been called for. But can Europe really overcome national differences to help European technology get to market?
A nice touch is the launch of an independent university ranking system. It's a laudable goal, as long as it's truly independent and not based on the opinions of the universities themselves about their general brilliance. Another self-assessment exercise that excuses weak technology scouting, maturation and transfer will not be welcomed by those involved in commercial biotech. Research funding of course gets a mention, and companies can take heart from the increasing momentum towards SME-driven projects. FP7 Health has already made a good start here with two-stage proposals, and there is much more to be done. There's plenty of evidence of the importance of SMEs in funding research, and we look forward to a scale-up of existing efforts.
Private investment also comes under scrutiny, with a slightly optimistic statement about the current success of additional tools for biotech SMEs. Plans to open up cross-border investment are welcome, but Europe needs to extend support to earlier-stage SMEs to make it more favourable for US investment as well.
The elusive EU patent has been given a deadline of 2014, when the first of those wondrous documents will be issued. So dear reader – can we expect the fighting over words in Spanish/Calatan/French/Outer Mongolian to be resolved soon?
So there you have it. All in all, a well-intentioned framework for the next 9 years. We say ‘let’s do it’ and ‘get tough European Commission’. But turning ideas into actions requires a strong hand with an eye on the 2020 prize rather than the opinions of tomorrow.

Politics / Law

06.03.2012

London – The European Medicines Agency (EMA) calls it “the biggest change to the legal framework since the establishment of the Agency in 1995.” This year, the EU drug regulators are preparing new so-called pharmacovigilance...

Clinical Trial

06.03.2012

Norway’s Algeta ASA (Oslo) has updated its Phase III survival analysis of Alpharadin in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and bone metastases. The analysis showed an increase of 3.6 months in median overall...

Clinical Trial

06.03.2012

Genticel S.A. (Toulouse) has completed enrolment in its Phase Ib study of a lyophilised version of the world’s very first therapeutic vaccine ProCervix, which inhibits infection with the cancer-causing Human Papilloma Virus. The...

Clinical Trial

06.03.2012

The share value of French specialist for cardiometabolic diseases Genfit S.A. (Loos/Lille) took a jump after the company announced its candidate drug GFT505 had met all efficacy endpoints in a pilot Phase II study involving 22...

Clinical Trial

06.03.2012

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the HER2 dimerisation inhibitor pertuzumab developed by Roche (Basel) for previously untreated HER2­-positive metastatic breast...

Politics / Law

06.03.2012

A For years, the world’s major patent offices – including the EPO, USPTO and JPO – have been collaborating in the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme. Under the PPH, an applicant whose claims have been allowed in one...

BioFunding

06.03.2012

Berlin/Dublin – Two EU initiatives are seeking to better predict response to cancer treatments. Researchers from the a6m RESPONSIFY Project will develop biomarker-based breast cancer prognosis tests that could be used to predict...

BioFunding

06.03.2012

Bremen/Brussels – European researchers kicked-off the MicroB3 (Bio­diversity, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology) project in February. Thanks to a a9m EU fund, the 32 groups involved will create a unique bioinformatic resource that...

BioFunding

06.03.2012

A Brussels – The European Commission is boosting its investments and policy activities to foster sustainability. “Europe needs to make the transition to a post-petroleum economy,” said Máire Geoghegan-Quinn in Brussels. In...

Politics / Law

06.03.2012

Brussels – In February, I heard of a slightly mad and very worrying trend in decisions handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) with regard to IP issues handed up from the national level for clarification....

Displaying results 11 to 20 out of 1982

< Previous 11-20 Next >

© 2007-2014 BIOCOM

http://www.european-biotechnology-news.com/nc/news/messages-archive/archive/browse/1/article/heard-in-brussels-a-brave-new-world-for-2020.html

Product of the week

Products

Events

All Events

Current issue

All issues