The White Paper on research in Italy: the public / private alliance is crucial

by time news

The CoViD-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on many aspects of people’s lives, but it has also given numerous lessons on behaviors to follow even when it is all over, including the importance of public-private collaboration to rapidly develop treatments innovative, such as vaccines, and make them accessible to as many people as possible.

The relationship between public and private organizations in biomedical research is the theme of White Paper “Biomedical research and the public-private relationship”, which follows an initiative dedicated to Independent Research developed in 2019 by the same promoters (the Scientific Society of Internal Medicine FADOI and Roche Foundation).

Investing in research is necessary and urgent

“Research has always been at the heart of the activities that Fondazione Roche supports with great commitment, not only in the form of funding for the scientific community, but also through training and information initiatives to make people understand how valuable research is for young people. , for scientists, for patients and for the whole country – he claims Mariapia Garavaglia, President of the Roche Foundation – therefore we are convinced that promoting a just and healthy collaboration between public and private can make the difference as it guarantees economic benefits, but above all more and more effective solutions for the health of our country “.

“With CoViD-19 we have understood the significant role that public support can play in accelerating and amplifying the development and availability of health technologies for citizens and patients. The management of the emergency highlighted the importance of a strategic vision in terms of public health, where public-private collaboration can make a difference and make our country more competitive “ said the Scientific Director of FADOI, Gualberto Gussoni, who, together with Sergio Scaccabarozzi of the Scientific Direction of the IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo di Pavia Foundation, oversaw the creation of the White Book. “The public-private relationshipadds Gussoni – it is not to be understood only at a financial level, but also as a cultural contamination and objectives, which in biomedical research must find a synthesis because the ultimate goal of the research must in any case be that of the health of the individual and the community for everyone “.

It also underlines that the value of research is not just financial Sergio Scaccabarozzi: “We often tend to equate the value of research with the financial return for those who promoted it, and there is no doubt that the positive effects of research on public health allow a country significant competitive and economic advantages, but ‘value’ is not just this : aspects that are more difficult to quantify, such as the impact on the progress of knowledge, on the quality of life, on sociality, on the well-being of the population are equally, if not prospectively even more important “.

The obstacles of an effective collaboration

But in Italy the collaboration between public and private for the development of effective research seems to find many obstacles, as noted by the lawyer Alessandro De Nicola, President of the Adam Smith Society. De Nicola cited the example of the suspension of the development of the made in Italy vaccine after the private company ReiThera had already started testing it, and this due to the blocking of public funding decreed by the Court of Auditors for technical-legal reasons related to the loan agreement that was to be disbursed by the Ministry of Economic Development and Invitalia. “It is undeniable – said De Nicola – that in our country public-private collaboration is often hindered due to prejudices and old legacies. In fact, on the one hand there is an ancient conception according to which private companies are strongly focused on profit, and on the other hand, for the private sector, the public represents a slow bureaucratic mechanism. For this reason, often in our country talking about public-private collaboration is like talking about the devil and holy water, despite the fact that sometimes this collaboration has worked “.

The necessity of “definitively overcome past approaches to which many of the criticalities and weaknesses experienced in dealing with the pandemic can be traced back”Was also underlined by Luca Pani, Full Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Modena and Reggio and Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Miami (Florida), according to which “in Italy, research and clinical development of drugs and vaccines should receive an important boost through the implementation of fruitful public-private partnerships, which are based on a clear definition and distinction of roles. Italy can, for example, count on a mine of health data that needs to be exploited also through a transparent and effective collaboration between public and private sectors, in the interest of research and health for the country “.

Carlo Nicora, Director General of the IRCCS Polyclinic San Matteo Foundation, in whose molecular virology laboratory the first case in Italy of autochthonous SARS-CoV2 infection in Italy was diagnosed, retraced the steps that marked the health activity of the Polyclinic during the pandemic emergency, and reminded that in 2020 the IRCCS San Matteo Foundation was at the forefront in the fight against the pandemic both from the point of view of assistance and research with 282 works dedicated to CoViD-19. We have tried, thanks to the support of ENI, to create the conditions to face any future epidemics thanks to the creation of a state-of-the-art facility in the management of infectious disease emergencies. Despite the pandemic, in 2020 the research activity of IRCCS San Matteo in general generated a high number of publications equal to 1186 with a total impact factor of 6484. It is necessary to create the conditions for the generation of scientific knowledge to be enhanced and valued in the interest of patients and the country “.

The point of view of a subject active in raising funds for independent research and at the same time in the development of advanced therapies for genetic diseases is expressed by Francesca Pasinelli, General Manager of Telethon, according to which “Coordination and a collaborative structure of research are becoming essential. Shared approaches and synergies are now required between the various players in the health system, including public health structures, research institutes, universities and non-profit organizations, in order to encourage research projects and collaborative activities in which it is possible to enhance and share professional skills, structures and data, with a long-term vision. The White Paper mentions a virtuous collaboration between Telethon and the Cariplo Foundation, both engaged in the promotion and support of research activities in our country, and operating according to rigorous methodologies in the assignment and enhancement of funding “.

Carmine Pinto, President of the Federation of Italian Cooperative Oncology Groups, who in the White Paper edited an article in the perspective of clinical researchers together with other authoritative colleagues, opportunely recalled that the EU Regulation no. 536/2014, which will actually enter into force at the beginning of 2022, regarding the clinical trial of medicines for human use “Places the entire world of research, from researchers to competent institutions and the world of industry, in front of a completely renewed scenario for which it is essential to reformulate and modernize the research system both at European level and in the individual Member States. Also for Italy, therefore, the new Regulation represents an important challenge and an opportunity for the relaunch of research, and in this perspective it becomes essential to proceed with regulatory, structural and organizational changes. The opportunity of the Regulation should, among other things, create the conditions to overcome the dichotomy between research sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and ‘non-profit’ research, moving towards research that is as collaborative as possible and enhancing the overall medical and scientific skills present in our country. , in the primary interest of patients “.

Anna Maria Porrini, Medical Director of Roche SpA, has called for a regulatory and cultural evolution, so that the huge investments in research and development of large industrial groups in the biomedical / pharmaceutical world can find an important outlet also in our country, enhancing a healthy and transparent collaboration between public and private sectors. Also Renato Balduzzi, Full Professor of Constitutional Law, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, stated that a further growth opportunity for Italian research can derive from the forthcoming Regulation EU 536/2014 and from interventions such as Law 3/2018, but it is essential to arrive at the introduction of organizational and regulatory mechanisms that favor collaborations structural and non-episodic between industry and private sector not for profit and public facilities.

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Giuseppe Banfi, Scientific Director of IRCCS Galeazzi Milano, underlined how “the MIND Milano Innovation District project, with Human Technopole, the Galeazzi Hospital, the University of Milan and numerous private research and entrepreneurial realities, represents a virtuous example of how even in Italy it is possible to bring together institutionally and culturally different realities for networking and create innovation and value for the entire health system “.

The proceedings of the presentation event of the White Book were opened by Sen. Mariapia Garavaglia, President of the Roche Foundation, and with the contribution of Prof. Maria Cristina Messa, Minister of University and Scientific Research and the Hon. . Roberto Speranza, Minister of Health.

On the issues discussed in the round tables following the presentation of the White Paper, moderated by the journalist Nicola Porro, the Hon. Andrea Mandelli, Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies and President of the Federation of Italian Pharmacist Orders; Annalisa Mandorino, Secretary General

Active citizenship; Hon. Beatrice Lorenzin, Budget Commission of the Chamber of Deputies; Marco Vignetti, President of GIMEMA Onlus. In the conclusions of the meeting, the President FADOI Dario Manfellotto underlined how, from the clinicians’ perspective “biomedical research is increasingly closely linked to healthcare. More efficient research means better treatments, and everything that helps to strengthen and develop research, making it more qualitative, including greater synergy between public and private, can only find maximum sharing in both patients and healthcare professionals “.

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