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Untitled Document

Introduction

The new picture of health

The accelerating pace of scientific and technological progress which made it possible, within just a decade, to complete the first full sequencing of the human genome – and of a growing number of other living organisms – is heralding a new era in molecular biology and genetics, in particular for human medicine. However, it is going to take a very large-scale and long-term research effort if the promises of this 'post-genomic age' are to be realised.

A European priority

Selecting genomics and biotechnology for health as one of the priority themes of the Sixth Framework Programme is in line with a major political and strategic choice the Union made recently in meeting the challenges of the new knowledge-based economy. This is also a response to the expectations of society, at global as well as European level. Halting the deteriorating health situation in those developing countries afflicted by communicable diseases has become a key condition for a sustainable world.

Objectives

  • To help Europe exploit, by means of an integrated research effort, breakthroughs achieved in decoding the genomes of living organisms, more particularly for the benefit of public health and to increase the competitiveness of the European biotechnology industry. This research could also have an impact in fields such as the environment and agriculture.
  • To bring basic knowledge through to the application stage (new diagnostic tools and treatments to help combat diseases which are still not under control, and representing major potential markets).
  • To combat, particularly in the clinical field, cancer, children's diseases, diseases associated with ageing, and communicable diseases linked to poverty.

Support for Research

Community action will concentrate on two major fields:

Advanced genomics and applications for health

  • Fundamental knowledge and basic tools for functional genomics in all organisms:
    • gene expression and proteomics;
    • structural genomics;
    • comparative genomics and population genetics;
    • bio-informatics;
    • multidisciplinary approaches in functional genomics to the study of fundamental biological processes.
  • The application of knowledge and technologies in the field of genomics and biotechnology for health: technological platforms for developments of new tools in the fields of new diagnostics, prevention and therapy (including pharmacogenemic approaches, stem cell research and alternative methods to animal testing).

Combating major disease

  • Approaches oriented towards medical applications of genomics knowledge and technologies, including the use of animal and plant genomics where relevant, especially in the following fields:
    • combating diabetes, diseases of the nervous system (such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (including, where relevant, mental illness), cardio-vascular diseases and rare diseases;
    • combating resistance to antibiotics and other drugs;
    • studying human development, the brain and the ageing process.
  • A broader approach, not limited to genomics and other fields of fundamental research, will be pursued with regard to:
    • cancer: the development of patient-oriented strategies, from prevention to diagnosis and treatment, including three inter-linked components:
      • developing networks and initiatives to coordinate national research activities
      • supporting clinical research aimed at validating new and improved interventions
      • supporting translational research

    • fighting the three infectious diseases linked to poverty (Aids, malaria, tuberculosis) which are the priority for disease control at both Union and international level.

Budget

€ 2 255 million

Untitled Document

Introduction

The new picture of health

The accelerating pace of scientific and technological progress which made it possible, within just a decade, to complete the first full sequencing of the human genome – and of a growing number of other living organisms – is heralding a new era in molecular biology and genetics, in particular for human medicine. However, it is going to take a very large-scale and long-term research effort if the promises of this 'post-genomic age' are to be realised.

A European priority

Selecting genomics and biotechnology for health as one of the priority themes of the Sixth Framework Programme is in line with a major political and strategic choice the Union made recently in meeting the challenges of the new knowledge-based economy. This is also a response to the expectations of society, at global as well as European level. Halting the deteriorating health situation in those developing countries afflicted by communicable diseases has become a key condition for a sustainable world.

Objectives

  • To help Europe exploit, by means of an integrated research effort, breakthroughs achieved in decoding the genomes of living organisms, more particularly for the benefit of public health and to increase the competitiveness of the European biotechnology industry. This research could also have an impact in fields such as the environment and agriculture.
  • To bring basic knowledge through to the application stage (new diagnostic tools and treatments to help combat diseases which are still not under control, and representing major potential markets).
  • To combat, particularly in the clinical field, cancer, children's diseases, diseases associated with ageing, and communicable diseases linked to poverty.

Support for Research

Community action will concentrate on two major fields:

Advanced genomics and applications for health

  • Fundamental knowledge and basic tools for functional genomics in all organisms:
    • gene expression and proteomics;
    • structural genomics;
    • comparative genomics and population genetics;
    • bio-informatics;
    • multidisciplinary approaches in functional genomics to the study of fundamental biological processes.
  • The application of knowledge and technologies in the field of genomics and biotechnology for health: technological platforms for developments of new tools in the fields of new diagnostics, prevention and therapy (including pharmacogenemic approaches, stem cell research and alternative methods to animal testing).

Combating major disease

  • Approaches oriented towards medical applications of genomics knowledge and technologies, including the use of animal and plant genomics where relevant, especially in the following fields:
    • combating diabetes, diseases of the nervous system (such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (including, where relevant, mental illness), cardio-vascular diseases and rare diseases;
    • combating resistance to antibiotics and other drugs;
    • studying human development, the brain and the ageing process.
  • A broader approach, not limited to genomics and other fields of fundamental research, will be pursued with regard to:
    • cancer: the development of patient-oriented strategies, from prevention to diagnosis and treatment, including three inter-linked components:
      • developing networks and initiatives to coordinate national research activities
      • supporting clinical research aimed at validating new and improved interventions
      • supporting translational research

    • fighting the three infectious diseases linked to poverty (Aids, malaria, tuberculosis) which are the priority for disease control at both Union and international level.

Budget

€ 2 255 million

 

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