09:00 – 09:40

Welcome

Denis Horgan, Executive Director, European Alliance for Personalised Medicine

Key note address

Vili Beroš, Croatian Minister of Health(TBC)

Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety (TBC)

Marco Greco, President, European Patients’ Forum, Belgium

09:40 – 11:00

Session 1: Preparing Health Systems for Covid and Post-Covid Era in the Digital Age

Europe’s digital infrastructure needs strengthening in general, and in order to deal with the impact of Covid-19 in particular. And then there are future public health crises to be considered…

Better integration of Artificial Intelligence into the public health response should be a priority;

Analysis of big data relating to citizens’ movement, disease transmission patters and health monitoring could be used to aid prevention measures.

Looking forward in healthcare, tele-health will have to steal a march. Before the current outbreak, there was some progress made in telemedicine; however, public health officials are pushing healthcare systems to expand their telemedicine through smartphones and other tools.

Technology can assist in triaging patients and in diagnosing those without the illness but are worried they might have it from seeking treatment at overcrowded facilities by talking to them through tele-health technology. And, using telemedicine limits human-to-human contact, critically important to slow the transmission in situations such as the one we find ourselves in right now.

Among other related topics, this session will discuss the challenges that still need to be overcome in optimal use of tele-health tools. Healthcare systems are being forced to address these sooner rather than later and, as all stakeholders know, this area will prove critical.

Chair: Antoni Montserrat, Senior Expert on Cancer and rare Disease, DG Public Health, European Commission

Peter Arlett, Head of Pharmacovigilance and Epidemiology Department at the European Medicines Agency (EMA)

Tiemo Wolken, Member of the European Parliament

Barbara Moss, Patient Ambassador for EuropaColon and Bowel Cancer UK

Natasha Azzopardi MuscatSenior Advisor WHO EUROPE; President of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA)

Pall Jonsson, Head of R&D, NICE, United Kingdom

Q&A

11:00 – 12:15

Session 2: Trust and the Use of the Data

At the heart of personalised medicine, is the hugely expanding use of health data. This is a sensitive topic. There’s certainly a need for the health-science community to talk more openly about using personal health data in research to enhance human health and eradicate diseases such as cancer and the public has to be at the centre of any and all discussion.

Many national and international initiatives rely on comprehensive data analytics to drive evidence-based solutions to improve health outcomes.

This means, of course, that personal health data is an extremely valuable commodity for research and should only ever be used in a responsible, ethical and secure way that is in the interest of society.

Transparency on why and how we use data is vital if Europe is to maintain the social licence for data-driven research. Trust is paramount.

Giant leaps have been made recently with the signing of a Declaration on one million European genomes, and EAPM’s own MEGA+ initiative, which aims to gather and share all relevant forms of healthcare data, not just genomes.

And it becoming increasingly clear how valuable data can be during the current pandemic, as well as any subsequent, similar crisis.

We’ve all read by now that the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has called for countries to develop a common Covid-19 app. This in the wake of several Member States rolling out their own national apps, but with widely differing approaches.

The privacy watchdog in charge of overseeing the European Commission, Parliament etc now wants governments to go further and roll out a common app.

However, at the moment, it seems that data is not accurate enough to track a virus that needs those infected to be in close contact with others to spread, while the jury is out on whether it is possible to anonymise the data.

The European Commission is using the Joint Research Centre to carry out the analysis regarding data to map the spread of the virus.

Chair: Denis Horgan, Executive Director, European Alliance for Personalised Medicine

Tuula Helander, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland

Andrey Kovatchev, Member of the European Parliament

Ivo Gut, Director, Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG-CRG)

Giovanni Tonon, Director of the Center for Omics Sciences, and Head of the Functional Genomics of Cancer Unit at IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele

Jan Korbel, Group Leader and Senior Scientist,EMBL

Francesca Cormack, Director of Research and Innovation,Cambridge Cognition, United Kingdom

Anne-Marie Baird, President, LUCE

Q&A

12:15 – 13:30

Session 3: Digital Solution – Cancer – Prevention and Early Diagnosis

How can digital health improve healthcare in a world that has seen us susceptible to the Covid-19 outbreak? Tracking apps are one possibility, as discussed above, as is better screening and evaluation. But as well as any improved technologies and their applications, we need best practices in place. Education is also a key factor – and public common sense, which has been sadly lacking often during the crisis with certain members of society ignoring very clear recommendations about self-isolating and, more to the point, social distancing.

But it is important to look way beyond the current crisis and to better utilising the options that we have, that include education and prevention, triage and testing, tracing and tracking, quarantine and in-hospital management, and post-care management: Patient monitoring and research support.

When it comes to cancer, as well as the implementation of screening programmes, the discovery of novel and improved diagnostic and therapeutic tools have helped to make this happen. The success of such technologies is based on two principles, the discovery and implementation of new approaches and the improvement of existing ones.

Early diagnosis, often through screening programmes, is necessary and needed now. For example the biggest cancer killer of all does not have a solid set of screening guidelines across Europe.

More guidelines are required across the arena of healthcare, especially in screening There is a need for agreement and coordination across all of the European Union’s Member States. Of course, we now have the European Commission’s Beating Cancer Plan. We sincerely hope that it will shine an even greater spotlight on the methods necessary to improve prevention and early diagnosis.

Chair: Alastair Kent,  Formerly Director of Genetic Alliance UK 

Loucas Fourlas, Member of the European Parliament; Chair MEPs Against Cancer

Philip Beer, Precision oncology, cancer genomics and next-generation therapeutics – Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK

Tit Albreht, National Institute of Public Health, Slovenia

Andrew Biankin, Regius Chair of Surgery/Director of Translational Research Centre, University of Glasgow

Nathalie Bere,Public Engagement Department, Stakeholders and Communication Division European Medicines Agency (EMA)

Natacha Bolanos, Regional Manager Europe for Lymphoma Coalition and coordinates the Harmony Alliance T-cell Lymphoma Consortium

Q&A

13:30 – 14:30

Lunch

14:30 – 15:45

Session 4: Personalised Medicine is not only Treatment: Molecular Diagnostics

Many national and international initiatives rely on comprehensive data analytics to drive evidence-based solutions to improve health outcomes.

This means, of course, that personal health data is an extremely valuable commodity for research and should only ever be used in a responsible, ethical and secure way that is in the interest of society.

On the topic of testing, a debate is, not surprisingly, underway in respect of this novel coronavirus. More broadly, one of the ongoing goals of EAPM is improving biomarker access and high-quality testing.

We include here such items as those relating to biomarker testing, EAPM’s MEGA+ drive covering the sharing of all relevant health-related data, and the need for real-world evidence, not least in the adoption and funding criteria of new medicines and treatments.

Certainly while the potential of biomarkers cannot be underestimated, it is clear that patient access to quality biomarker testing is a challenge – yet another barrier put in front of integrating personalised medicine into the EU’s healthcare systems.

There’s much to be debated, and also up for discussion will be the current limitations of biomarkers, the use of centralised databases, and advice that is, or should be, given to patients prior to biomarker testing.

On top of this, EAPM and its stakeholders have long campaigned for the testing for various cancers, most notably that huge global killer lung cancer. We have also looked at minimum and optimal testing, guidelines, while calling for a revision of the 2003 European Recommendation.

We must never forget that trust is one of the most important foundations on which we can place the building-blocks of much-needed cooperation, not least with agreed guidelines on, say, testing, and faith in agreed standards (such as those imposed by the EMA).

Clearly, at the heart of personalised medicine, is the hugely expanding use of health data. And transparency on why and how we use data is vital if Europe is to maintain the social licence for data-driven research. Trust is paramount.

The use of health data is obviously a sensitive topic. There’s certainly a need for the health-science community to talk more openly about using personal health data in research to enhance human health and eradicate diseases such as cancer – and the public has to be at the centre of any and all discussion.

Chair:Denis Horgan, Executive Director, EAPM

Tilly Metz, Member of the European Parliament

Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive,Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), Ireland

Bernarda Zamora, Senior Economist,Office of Health Economics (OHE)

Pierfranco Conte, Full Professor of Oncology and Director of the Post Doctoral Fellowship Programme in Medical Oncology at the University of Padova

Stanimir Hasardzhiev, Chair of the Bulgarian National Patients’ Organisation

Q&A

15:45 – 16:45

Closing Session: Next Steps

As we know, personalised medicine tailors medical treatment to a patient’s personal history, including lifestyle, work and and environment. In this context it supports the sustainability of healthcare systems, which is becoming increasingly important due to the increasing burden that chronic diseases, including chronic cancer, place on healthcare services and their infrastructures. However, personalised medicine is becoming more-and-more about education, ongoing trying for healthcare professionals, the use of data for prevention purposes, patient power, and the vital aspect of early diagnosis.

How can we optimise all of these elements for the benefit of the EU’s current patients and those who will follow?

How do we develop models and algorithms that include combinations of markers in order to develop personalised strategies to diagnose cancers at an early stages, and produce clinically meaningful results?

How do we embed big data analytics within research programmes to maximise the value of multi-source, multi-dimensional data in the diagnosis, prognosis, prediction and treatment of cancers?

How do we develop open source solutions that promote the sharing of genomic, clinical and epidemiological data for cancer, so as to ensure that data from different sources is combined in an added-value approach to maximise the benefit for cancer patients?

Chair: Denis Horgan, Executive Director, European Alliance for Personalised Medicine

Ortwin Schulte, Head of the Healthcare Unit, German Permanent

Angelika Niebler, Member of the European Parliament

Panos Kanavos, Associate Professor of International Health Policy in the Department of Health Policy, London School of Economics, United Kingdom

Martin Seychell, Deputy Director-General in the Health and Food Safety’s Directorate- General (SANTE), European Commission(TBC)

Marlene Mortler, Member of the European Parliament