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Published: 28 april 2021 18:47

European Commission plans on personalised medicine could also include allergy and asthma

Juozas Olekas, MEP
Juozas Olekas, MEP
How does the European Commission plan to advance research in personalised medicine in the coming years? How do allergy and asthma, two of the most common chronic diseases, fit into these plans? In January, Vice-Chair of the Interest Group on Allergy and Asthma, Member of Parliament, Juozas Olekas presented these issues in a written question to the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, the Bureau of MEP Juozas Olekas issues in a press release.

The European Commission responded that investment in personalised medicine would be high on the political agenda in the coming years, with the possibility of paying attention to diseases such as allergies and asthma as well.

For example, Horizon Europe’s Health Cluster – a financial instrument for research with a budget of EUR 95.5 billion until 2027 will be able to support projects with no disease-specific limitations. In practice, this means that Horizon Europe will be accessible for all disease areas, including allergy and asthma.

Finally, the Commission noted the great variance of individual responses to COVID-19 as a key incentive to explore the co-morbidities related to infectious diseases, including allergy and asthma.

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You can access the written question and the Commission’s answer here:

Question from MEP, Juozas Olekas:

Allergic diseases and asthma are the two most common chronic diseases affecting more than 150 million people. They are expected to affect half of all Europeans by 2025. As allergies and asthma continue to cause serious harm to patients and healthcare systems, it is clear that there is a need to better adapt research results to improve the prevention, management and treatment of these diseases. The treatment of allergic diseases and asthma progressively leads to stratification whereby patients are grouped according to several disease characteristics and disease management is tailored to each group. Stratified and precision medicine makes it possible to develop better strategies to control and treat the underlying mechanisms of allergies and asthma. Allergy and clinical immunology have played a key role in the earlier development of personalised and precision medicine methods. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that needs in this area are unmet. Horizon Europe could accelerate the use of personalised and precision medicine for the treatment of allergies and asthma and other diseases, ensuring that patients' needs are reflected in the research agenda.

Will Horizon Europe:

  1. Support research by funding stratified and precision medicine to improve prevention, early detection and the effective treatment of allergic diseases and asthma?
  2. Explore how stratified and precision medicine can be optimally implemented in the Member States in order to foster equal access to high‑quality diagnostics and care for all patients in the EU?

Reply from Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner:

Personalised medicine will indeed play an important role in the implementation of projects funded under the European Horizon Work Programme, ‘Health’, and of the related projects financed by the European Research Council, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme and the European Innovation Council. Proposals will be submitted in various areas, without specifying the diseases under investigation, thus, in principle, it will also be possible to provide proposals on asthma and allergies, in addition to their incidence as co-morbidities.

Also, the Commission is working with the Member States and regions to establish a European partnership in the field of personalised medicine. The partners will commence activities in the second half of 2023. They will address priority research and innovation issues in the field of personalised medicine and ensure that this area is integrated into the healthcare sector, and will co-finance projects between Member States and the Commission.

The Commission is now participating in the International Consortium for Personalised Medicine, which discusses the research priorities of Member States and in the ERA’s Personalised Medical Network providing financing to projects in this area.

Several projects implemented by the European Network for Human Exposure also focus on identifying risk factors for respiratory diseases and autoimmune diseases (including allergies and asthma) and contribute to individual risk assessments. The environment and health are the themes of the future Horizon Europe programme. They can also include allergies and asthma.

Personalised medicine focuses on chronic diseases, including cancer, but the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that individual responses to infections are very different. It will therefore be necessary to study more thoroughly the underlying diseases associated with infections, such as asthma and allergic reactions.

Leave the interpreting to us! Translated by Pasaulio spalvos

Norėdamas tęsti – užsiregistruok

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