Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s pose a tremendous challenge to modern medicine. Societies are ageing around the world, yet today's elders wish to remain active and healthy, and live useful lives for as long as possible.
Nanomedicine, the application of nanotechnology to human healthcare, offers numerous potential pathways to improving medical diagnosis and therapy and even to regenerate tissues and organs. It can provide personalised yet more affordable healthcare while at the same time offering an improved quality of life for everyone. Nanomedicine is also a strategic issue for the competitive position of the healthcare industry in Europe.
In the 7th EU Framework Programme for Research (FP7 - 2007 – 2014), the NMP Programme invested about EUR 430 Million in 84 Nanomedicine related research projects, on topics such as targeted nanopharmaceuticals, nanodiagnostics, biomaterials for implants and regenerative medicine, and the development of intelligent prostheses. The projects are focused on pre-clinical research. They involve around 1000 laboratories, among them 250 SME's. The projects cover a wide range of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, anti-biotic resistant bacterial diseases, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, auto-immune diseases including arthritis and Crohn's disease, diseases of eyes and ears.
The European Technology Platform for Nanomedicine is an important industry-led forum that provides inputs for the research priorities to be addressed and gives advice on innovation related policy for the nanomedicine field.