Barcelona, March 15th 2016.– The pharmaceutical industry invested €382 million in contracts with the NH system during 2014, maintaining once again its leading position in the private sector as far as public-private collaboration in Spain is concerned. The latter was highlighted by Farmaindustria’s Director General, Humberto Arnés, during the opening session of the IX Annual Conference of Biomedical Research Technological Platforms: Innovative Medicines, Nanomedicines, Healthcare Technology and Biotechnological markets, which is held today and tomorrow in Barcelona. Under the title The New Challenges In Biomedical Research, this event, which brings together around 300 scientists and researchers, has earned its place as a reference in biomedical research, since it allows the diffusion of the most recent national and international initiatives in public-private collaboration in this area.
The Conference this year coincides with the establishing of a new regulatory framework for clinical trials in Spain: the Clinical Trials Royal Decree, which came into force just a few weeks ago, aiming at augmenting the Spain’s competitiveness in biomedical research, thanks to the simplification and harmonization of processes. In order to achieve these objectives -so that Spain in ready for the effective application of the European Clinical Trials Regulation in 2018-, Farmaindustria has collaborated extensively with the Spanish Medicines Agency (AEMPS), Spanish Regions, public and private hospitals, researchers, ethic committees, patients and other concerned stakeholders.
However, this new regulatory framework does not cover all the key elements to foster the competitiveness of clinical trials in Spain, since fundamental aspects such as patient recruiting are still being considered by those directly participating in the development of a specific research. Farmaindustria’s Director General believes this new Royal Decree “marks an important landmark, but it depends on entities such as the Spanish Technological Platform for Innovative Medicines which aims at maintaining the maximum level of excellence in biomedical research in Spain”.
Thus, the Platform -through projects such as BEST or the Farma-Biotech cooperation- continues to face important challenges during the forthcoming months to foster and bring dynamics to biomedical research. Arnés warned about some of them, ie “to continue attracting and making clinical research dynamic in early stages, promote the idea of an active patient who knows about the R&D process or foster clinical research in primary care”.
Farmaindustria’s Director General reminded the audience about the the pharmaceutical industry’s commitment to research and development of new medicines, “a source of wellbeing for citizens, and of economic progress for our country”. Te be precise, the sector invested 950 M€ in R&D in 2014, becoming the leading industrial sector in this field in Spain, undertaking 20% of the national total.
The main part of expenditure (more than half), was allocated to clinical research, and around 15% to basic research. On the other hand, 382 M€ (-40% of the total) was invested in contracts with the public sector, through public research centers, academia and hospitals. This way, the pharmaceutical industry became once again the private sector which most collaborated with public entities in healthcare, giving special relevance to the collaborative public-private model of open innovation. “This kind of initiative invigorates an enriching flow of knowledge for which both the research collective as well as the companies themselves benefits, thus allowing Spain to continue in the leading positions of biomedical research”, concluded Farmaindustria’s Director General.
Spanish Technological Platform for Innovative Medicines
The Spanish Technological Platform for Innovative Medicines was set up by Farmaindustria in 2005. It aims to encourage biomedical research of new medicines through the co-operation of all agents: Industry; Regulators from the various public administrations; Health managers; Basic and clinical researchers; Scientific societies; Patients and their associations; and suppliers of goods and services related to research.
The BEST Project, supported by the Platform, has positioned Spain as an attractive country for clinical research; it has allowed the sharing of metrics on timelines and patients’ recruiting and engaging all public and private stakeholders. Currently, 46 pharmaceutical companies, 50 public hospitals, 13 Spanish Regions and three independent clinical research groups are a part of BEST.
The Farma-Biotech Cooperation Program is also led by the Platform and over the last five years has fostered encounters between the pharmaceutical sector, start-ups and scientific entities, both public and private, with the objective of fostering the development of projects aimed at discovering new medicines.