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Europe to Launch International Translational Research Consortium

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – In an effort to help move biomedical innovations from the lab to the clinic more swiftly, a large group of European institutions have formed a consortium that will share access to research infrastructure and expertise, the European Commission said yesterday.

The European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicine (EATRIS) program, which officially launches next week at the Translational Medicine conference in Amsterdam, has enlisted 60 academic institutions and biomedical translational research centers to provide access to their resources.

EATRIS members will offer access to resources in five core areas including biomarkers, small molecules, imaging and tracing, advanced therapy medicinal products and biologics, and vaccines.

The consortium's Biomarkers Product Platform will support the development of biomarkers for use in disease prevention, diagnosis and prognosis, and prediction of relapse, according to EATRIS. This platform will provide independent biomarker validation, access to a variety of biobanks, development of standardized bioassays for biomarkers, and access to a network of companies that are launching a planned industrial biomarker development program.
The consortium members also will partner to develop synergies between their infrastructures and expertise and they will share best practices.

The program will be governed by the EATRIS Board of National Directors, a group of appointed scientific directors from each of the member states that are represented in the program.

The program's Scientific Director, Giovanno Migliaccio, said in a statement that the program will "allow member states to avoid infrastructure duplications," and it will facilitate the efficient use of resources in "scientifically and economically challenging times."

One research area that the EATRIS program will target will be rare diseases, because "the gap between upstream research and new drugs ready for the clinic is particularly wide and needs to be shortened" for these conditions, the EC said.