EU-funded project encourages use of simulation in drug development
A new EU-funded project called In Silico World aims to encourage the use of simulation for drug and medical device development.
The project is coordinated by the University of Bologna and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme that involves more than a dozen partner institutions, including Italian startup InSilicoTrials.
It will develop 11 solutions using state-of-the-art computational technologies to test the safety and/or the efficacy of medical devices, medicinal products, and even advanced therapy medicinal products such as tissue engineering constructs for regenerative medicine.
The solutions will target medical products to treat osteoporosis, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, coronary stenosis, cerebral aneurysms, mammary carcinoma, and COVID-19 infection, among the others.
As these solutions are further developed, the consortium will produce data collections for validation, regulatory pathways and technical standards.
It will also produce policy documents and information packages for patients, doctors and senior management in companies,
Other workstreams could include computational strategies to make such simulations more powerful and efficient, new curricula to educate the workforce on the development and use of the technologies.
The scheme aims to develop robust business models for the commercial exploitation of these technologies, with focused attention to all legal and ethical implications of such disruptive technologies.
One the partners involved in the project is InSilicoTrials Technologies, a health tech company founded in 2018 by a team of life sciences, cybersecurity, and digital innovation experts.
Two other companies, a spin-off from the University of Catania called Mimesis and RS Print, are also involved.
The company aims to democratise the use of modelling and simulations in the healthcare sector through an innovative and unique simulation platform that is easy to use and cost-effective.
The consortium behind the scheme consists of 17 different organisations from member states in total, including seven universities and four research hospitals, plus input from the Sano Foundation international research foundation, the non-government organisation the VPH Institute.
Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) will act as a standardisation body.
Marco Viceconti, Professor at Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna and coordinator of the project, said: “The aim of the In Silico World project is to accelerate the uptake of modelling and simulation technologies for the development and regulatory assessment of medicines and medical devices.”
He said the long term is a “reduction of the cost and duration of the development and regulatory assessment of new medical products, while maintaining or improving the level of safety provided by conventional approaches.”
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