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Personalised medicine congress welcomes award winners

28 Nov 2017

Last night saw two winners pick up inaugural awards at the first annual Congress held by the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM).

The Congress, entitled, ‘Personalising Your Health: A Global Imperative’ is being held in Northern Ireland and the awards were given out at a welcome reception at Belfast City Hall.

The EAPM SMART Award (Smaller Member states And Regions Together) went to Malta, while the Patient-centric Innovator Award went to AstraZeneca.

Christopher Fearne, Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister, picked up the SMART Award while David Boyd picked up the AstraZeneca prize from Stephen McMahon, president of the Irish Patient Association.

Before handing over the award, McMahon described the EAPM Congress as “a cornerstone event for personalised medicine in Europe”.

During its recent presidency of the EU, Malta supported and acted upon European Council conclusions on strengthening the balance in the pharmaceutical systems in the EU and its Member States.

Receiving the prize, Chris Fearne said he was “touched and delighted with this award”.

And in a message, AstraZeneca’s Senior Vice-President, Precision Medicine and Genomics, Ruth March referred to “AstraZeneca’s scientists who are working tirelessly to develop innovative, targeted medicines for every patient who needs them, and to match those treatments to patients most likely to benefit.”

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chloe Smith MP, also spoke during the evening.

As part of her speech she said: “It is crucial to have health and wealth across the UK. And Northern Ireland demonstrates a strong collaborative approach and offers a great opportunity in life sciences.”

Ms Smith said that, post-Brexit, the UK would continue to work with EU partners in science and innovation, backed by a strong legislative strategy.

The evening was presided over by ecancer Editor Gordon McVie who, as well as being a world-renowned oncologist is co-chair of EAPM.

He said “It is a delight to be here, not only at the start of our first annual Congress held on the back of five presidency conferences, but also to see well-deserved awards given to Malta and AstraZeneca.”

“Both of these recipients have, in their own ways, substantially furthered the cause of patient-focused personalised medicine and I know we all wish to congratulate them.”

EAPM’s executive director, Denis Horgan, thanked Belfast for the warm welcome, adding that “The Alliance believes that Europe’s health policies need to recognise and tackle the inherent health system vulnerabilities faced, specifically, by smaller countries and in the regions of the larger ones. Well done to Malta for facing this head on, on the ground.”

Horgan went on to say that the patient-centric innovator award exists to highlight the role of a company which has made putting patients at the centre of their own healthcare a key element during the course of its own, ongoing innovative work.  

He added “We are happy to note that an EAPM member organisation, the European Cancer Patient Coalition, nominated AstraZeneca for this award. As Gordon said, it is well deserved.”

Tuesday evening in Belfast will see five more awards given out. These are the HI-5 (Health Innovation Five) prizes and are also a new development from EAPM.

The first HI-5 award will go to the EU-based Minister who has best supported health innovation in personalised medicine, with the second going to the EU-based region that has done the most to support innovation in that arena.

HI-5 award number three will go to a EU-based research centre for innovation in personalised medicine, the fourth to the best company to promote personalised healthcare, and the final HI-5 to the EU-based hospital doing the most to integrate personalised cancer medicine.

Source: EAPM

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Founding partners

European Cancer Organisation European Institute of Oncology

Founding Charities

Foundazione Umberto Veronesi Fondazione IEO Swiss Bridge

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Cancer Intelligence