Personalised medicine is a promising emerging industry in Europe that has high growth and innovation potential. Undoubtedly, a personalised approach will decrease inefficient treatments, reduce harmful side effects, and improve the patient’s health and life quality, while minimising healthcare costs. However, the constantly growing amount of patient-related data requires digital solutions to determine whether a drug will be effective, ineffective, or even harmful. The EU-funded PERMIDES platform was designed to address innovation barriers in the biopharma sector via cutting-edge IT solutions. The idea was to generate an open collaboration space consisting of workshops, a matchmaking portal and events that will help biopharma SMEs to identify suitable partners among the IT companies and set up collaboration. As project coordinator, Tamara Högler explains: “The PERMIDES platform also supports the management and evaluation of applications submission for innovation projects as well as the monitoring of funded projects.″ The platform in brief The PERMIDES platform is entirely web-based, requiring no additional plug-ins, and is accessible by any browser. It was launched in March 2017 and comprises integrated semantic algorithms to facilitate intelligent matchmaking. Following registration, leading biopharma and IT clusters from European countries are capable of creating novel cross-sectoral collaborations between SMEs. Focusing on one specific innovation, the biopharma SME can invite registered IT SMEs as well as additional partners to cooperate. The virtual collaboration space consists of a communication area, which allows both SMEs to leave messages for each other. To create awareness about the project and the upcoming calls for innovation projects, the consortium implemented various health forums on the latest trends in the IT and biopharma sectors. Regional workshops also helped bring together SMEs from the biopharma and IT sectors, setting the ground for a mutual understanding of innovation barriers. Alongside press releases, advertising on the consortium member website and social networks further helped spread the call. In parallel, PERMIDES partners established synergies with both national and regional innovation funding agencies, central to ensuring sustainability of the innovation projects. Future impact of PERMIDES “We are confident that the PERMIDES platform will boost the innovation potential of personalised medicine in the future,″ continues Högler. A project-conducted survey emphasised the importance of interdisciplinary matchmaking to support long-term personalised medicine research and development. Already, more than 400 companies have registered on the PERMIDES platform, establishing it as a trademark service. Over 45 SMEs have initiated joint innovation projects, and 59 such projects between IT and biopharma companies have commenced. Input from SMEs underscores the benefit of technology transfer and consultancy activities offered through the collaborations. Following the H2020 funding the platform concept is on its way to evolve into a sustainable business concept for the benefit of personalised medicine. The renewed, more user-friendly platform is about to go online in early summer 2019. Overall, the increasing number of elderly people is expected to impact the incidence rate of cancer, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. This concomitantly increases the demand for data gathering and exchange, machine learning as well as new software-based methods and advanced IT tools. The IT tools developed by PERMIDES for collaborations for specified treatments might easily be adapted to other clinical applications. This will help generate e-health tools for supporting patient-clinician communication and enable personalised medicine for all common diseases.
PERMIDES, platform, SME, personalised medicine, biopharma, matchmaking, IT tools, semantic algorithm, e-health