- Europe's Experts in the Field Will Hear the Plan and Discuss the
Recommendations at Their Annual Meeting in Amsterdam this Week.
The world's largest meeting of experts in rheumatic diseases will
today hear and debate calls for a pan-European approach to prioritise
and combine the efforts of many excellent scientific and clinical
groups working at a national level, and accelerate research in the
The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) meeting in
Amsterdam will be briefed on the findings of an expert group on
rheumatic diseases, established by the ESF to set out research
priorities for Europe, to improve treatments and prevent disease.
Stiff and aching joints may be accepted as an inevitable aspect of
ageing, but the fact is that rheumatism is the leading cause of pain
and disability in Europe, with approximately 100 million sufferers.
Joint diseases account for half of all chronic conditions in over
65-year olds, a figure that will rise as the population ages.
And while these diseases are mainly afflictions of age, there is
significant unmet medical need in paediatric rheumatism.
The cost of treatments and the economic loss caused by rheumatic
diseases is estimated to more than Euros 200 billions per year.
The task force, comprising Europe's leading researchers and
clinicians, along with observers from a patients' representative
group and the European Medicines Agency, EMEA, has looked across the
field, considering all aspects of basic research and clinical
practice, and distilled its findings into five key recommendations.
The aim is to provide coherent objectives for national and European
funding bodies and healthcare providers, and ensure that rheumatic
diseases are acknowledged as a major group of diseases within the
European Commission Framework Programme 7.
Bertil Andersson, ESF Chief Executive said, "The ambition in this
policy paper lies not only in identifying key issues in epidemiology,
basic, translational and public health research in rheumatic
diseases, but also in presenting the considered and balanced view of
experts from across the field on what the research priorities should
The following recommendations are made:
The ESF and EULAR want scientists meeting in Amsterdam this week
to discuss and question these recommendations, enabling them to be
refined and presented as representing the views of all Europe's
experts in rheumatic diseases.
Professor Maxime Dougados of Groupe Hospitalier Cochin, Paris,
co-chair of the task force group said, "Excellent research is being
carried out in countries across Europe. We need to create bridges to
allow data be pooled so we can compare or merge different cohorts.
This will help us to assess the burden of disease, understand the
predisposing factors and find biomarkers for diagnosing and
"At the same time we need a strong relationship between EMEA and
rheumatologists, to allow patients' needs to be considered in the
drug approval process, and to ensure the regulator gets consistent,
independent and expert advice."
Co-chair, Professor Andreas Radbruch of DRFZ, Berlin, said, "The
great challenge in rheumatology today is to apply the growing
understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms - both in terms
of how disease is initiated and propagated, and the cellular
processes involved in degeneration and regeneration of the affected
tissues - to develop disease-modifying and regenerative therapies."
"Across Europe, there is considerable competence in the field of
rheumatology, but it will require significant pan-European
coordination and funding of integrated research to achieve this
Dr Carole Moquin-Pattey
Professor Maxime Dougados
ots Originaltext: The European Science Foundation (ESF)
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch
Dr Carole Moquin-Pattey, email@example.com
. Professor Maxime
. Professor Andreas,