Welcome, health colleagues, to the first update of the European Alliance for Personalized Medicine (EAPM) of 2021 and a Happy New Year everyone. The harrowing scenes on Capitol Hill in the US yesterday (January 6th) may make us all wonder if the New Year will be similar to its predecessor, but EAPM is confident that a good collaboration with the US on health will take place Questions from the beginning of Joe Biden’s presidency, writes EAPM managing director Denis Horgan.
Beating Cancer Plan gets a new release date
Every year in the EU 3.5 million people develop cancer and 1.3 million die from it. Over 40% of cancer cases are preventable. Without reversing current trends, it could become the leading cause of death in the EU. The European Plan to Fight Cancer aims to reduce the burden of cancer for patients, their families and health systems.
It will address cancer-related inequalities between and within Member States and take action to support, coordinate and complement Member States’ efforts. The Commission plans to publish the European Plan to Fight Cancer on February 3rd, setting out the Commission’s strategy to fight the disease in all of Europe. It was originally scheduled to be released in early December 2020 but was postponed to 2021 as responding to the pandemic took priority.
CorWave takes the lead as the Commission’s first shareholder
On Wednesday (January 6th), tThe European Commission started investing in “highly innovative” start-ups as well as in small and medium-sized enterprises. In the first investment round, the EU pumped EUR 178 million into 42 companies through its new European Innovation Council (EIC) fund. The French company CorWave, which is developing a new type of implantable blood pump, was the first to see the EU as a shareholder. There are 117 more companies in the pipeline to receive investment. The EIC fund is expected to be around EUR 3 billion.
The Portuguese EU Presidency is focusing on coronavirus vaccines
The Deputy Representative of Portugal, Ambassador Pedro Lourtie, said: “It is important to be able to coordinate, exchange information and ensure that a vaccine is purchased[s] that was done through the joint treaties [is] to be met. With this in mind, the European Commission will inform us regularly. “
Council Chairman Charles Michel said he wanted to coordinate the rollout “regularly with the heads of state and government,” said Lourtie. “We will of course maintain this coordination in line with national competencies.”
In addition to vaccination, the Portuguese Presidency also has some other health ambitions, such as improving access to medicines, strengthening the EU’s ability to respond to crises and promoting digital health.
Contact tracking apps controversy
In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the European Commission’s digital strategy has once again gained momentum as digital tools are used to monitor the spread of the coronavirus, research and develop diagnoses, treatments and vaccines, and ensure that Europeans are online in Stay connected and be safe. However, Spain has announced that it will register people who have refused to take the vaccine so that it can share this data with the EU. A ministry spokesman said all data would be pseudonymized and only the reasons for rejecting the vaccine would be given. Sergio Miralles, an expert in Spanish data protection law at Intangibles law firm, said the proposed data processing was “appropriate” as it was limited to people visiting vaccination centers to express their opposition. “However, any exchange of data with other countries should be limited to those who have been vaccinated and therefore exclude those who oppose vaccination,” he added.
The EU is aiming for more doses of BioNTech vaccine than Germany outlines an earlier deal
The European Commission is in talks with BioNTech about ordering more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, a spokesman said on Monday (Jan. 4) as Germany said it secured additional shots last September. The 450 million block has already ordered 200 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine and has exercised the option to purchase an additional 100 million under a contract signed with the two companies in November. The vaccine must be given in two doses per person. “The commission is examining with the companies whether there is a possibility of adding additional doses to those for which we have already signed a contract,” the spokesman said at a press conference. Pfizer declined to comment on whether new talks with the EU are underway.
The EMA recommends COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna for approval in the EU
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended conditional marketing authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine Moderna for the prevention of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in people aged 18 and over. This is the second COVID-19 vaccine that the EMA has recommended for approval. The EMA Human Medicinal Products Committee (CHMP) has thoroughly assessed the data on the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine and has mutually recommended that the European Commission issue formal conditional marketing authorization. This will reassure EU citizens that the vaccine meets EU standards and put in place the safeguards, controls and obligations to support EU-wide vaccination campaigns.
“This vaccine provides us with yet another tool to help us overcome the current emergency,” said Emer Cooke, EMA Executive Director. “It is a testament to the efforts and dedication of everyone involved that we have this second positive vaccine recommendation just a year ago since the WHO declared the pandemic.
“As with all medicines, we will closely monitor data on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine to ensure continued protection of the EU public. Our work will always be guided by science and our commitment to protecting the health of EU citizens. “
A large clinical study showed that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was effective in preventing COVID-19 in people aged 18 and over. A total of around 30,000 people took part in the study. Half received the vaccine and half received sham injections. People didn’t know whether they were getting the vaccine or the sham injections. Its effectiveness has been calculated in around 28,000 people aged 18 to 94 who had no evidence of previous infection.
Around the block
Greece plans to vaccinate 220,000 by the end of January
Coronavirus vaccinations will reach at least 220,000 citizens by the end of January, the Greek health authorities said on Monday. Marios Themistokleous, general secretary of the health ministry for primary health care, said it was likely that other vaccines, such as that of pharmaceutical company Moderna Greece, will perform well on the European average in terms of progress on ongoing vaccinations, he added. At 56, vaccinations were given by health workers, including doctors and nurses, to public hospitals on Monday.
Will the Dutch coronavirus lockdown be extended?
In the past few days, some countries have either reinforced or extended their coronavirus lockdowns. It was announced on Monday that Germany is likely to extend its existing lockdown while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has placed England under a full national lockdown that will last at least until mid-February. The current so-called lockdown is in force in the Netherlands is only forecast until January 19th. However, the date of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s next press conference – January 12th – is fast approaching. While the RIVM’s daily reports have shown the number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands has fallen slightly, to 6,671 on Monday, the number remains high. In addition, the full effect of the Christmas holidays remains unknown and the new highly contagious “British coronavirus” is spreading. Experts fear that the number of infections will remain too high to justify lifting the ban.
Stricter measures for Italy
Italy will extend its restrictions on vacation pandemics until at least January 15, government officials there announced. The rules prohibit travel between regions in the country unless it is for health care or work. Bars and restaurants across the country are restricted to takeout and delivery. In the hardest hit areas of Italy, people are advised not to visit more than one different private home each day in groups of no more than two people. Italian officials allow residents of small towns to travel on certain days. For example, on January 9th and 10th, residents of cities with fewer than 5,000 residents are allowed to travel approximately 18 miles beyond regional borders.
And that’s all for early 2021 – it’s good to be back, stay safe and healthy, and see us for more updates early next week.