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Future of the EU research and innovation actions in drug discovery & development for infectious diseases: using malaria as a case study

7th June 2011- European Commission – COV A2 AUD 0/129 - Place Rogier 16 - 1210 Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Brussels (Belgium)

Workshop Objective

The Workshop Objective is to develop a set of consensus recommendations that give the EC clear guidance of how to further involve Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in the discovery, development, and commercialisation of drugs to treat infectious diseases of little commercial potential.

Workshop Methodology

The workshop is structured into three parts:

Situation: Establishing a common understanding of the current situation, in the discovery, development and commercialisation of drugs to treat infectious diseases like malaria, TB, and NIDs to achieve the Objective.

Target: To find replies to the Workshop Questions (listed below) in the light of the discussion on the Situation.

Proposal Development: Consensus on recommendations to meet the Target

In developing the situation, some participants will give brief (10 min) summary of aspects based on their experience or on the outcomes of other relevant sources. The use of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) approach to analyse the situation could be used to focus the thinking of the participants.

The views and suggestions of the participants in all three sections will be gathered by a mixture of discussion and brain-storming, recording the findings as they progress. The rapporteurs will take notes of the discussions.

Workshop Questions

The participants are asked, through a process of facilitated discussion, brainstorming, and consensus building, to develop clear, action-oriented recommendations to the questions such us:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current environment to support novel research into drugs to treat malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases? What are the opportunities to improve the current situation and what are the threats to Europe’s position if the current situation is not improved?
  • What would be the best environment(s) in Europe to involve SMEs in the discovery & development of drugs for malaria, TB and neglected infectious diseases? Issues to be discussed in this section include engagement of industry, SMEs incentives, different phases of drug discovery, role of big Pharma involvement, sustainability of industry NID R&D involvement, financing mechanisms and systems to involve SMEs, sustainability of collaborative mechanisms, and influence of tax-payers and civil society on priority setting.
  • What would be the best collaborative structures in Europe to involve SMEs in the discovery & development of drugs for malaria, TB and neglected infectious diseases?

Issues to be discussed in this section include the funding requirements, factors of success of the SMEs in the Framework Programmes, types of projects to be favoured, ideal format and size of the consortium, sustainability and success of the SMEs participating, valorisation and uptake of the results, implementation in developing countries, and the health technology assessment.

Participants’ Preparation

The participants are asked to read the following background documents circulated prior to the meeting:

  • Green Paper "From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation funding".
  • Report of the Conference "Innovation in Healthcare: From Research to Market – SMEs in Focus" of 20-21 May 2010.

Participants are asked to come to the meeting with their considered views on the Workshop questions.


The rapporteur of the Workshop will produce a consensus report with the findings of the meeting in collaboration with each session’s rapporteurs. The target will be to have a draft report completed by the end of June 2011 for circulation and comment by Workshop participants.

Presentations of the speakers

Dowload Programme here ( 514KB)

Dowload the Report of the workshop here ( 366KB)

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