Addressing some of the key challenges in translational science, such as increasing the reproducibility of preclinical research and reducing the failure rate of drugs in development, requires a collaborative approach. On December 9th and 10th, NIH-NCATS hosted EATRIS and other leading translational science organizations from around the world for the kick-off meeting of a budding new collaboration. This “Translational Science on the Global Stage” event brought together representatives from EATRIS, NIH-NCATS, Therapeutic Innovation Australia (TIA), and the Canadian Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) for a two-day meeting in Bethesda, Maryland. The purpose of the gathering was two-fold: to first become acquainted with the mission, structure and activities of each organization, and then to explore how we could collectively address some of the most significant hurdles in bringing new medicines to more patients, more efficiently. Each organization presented snapshots of their efforts to overcome these barriers and shared best practices so that each could learn from each other’s experiences.
Representatives from EATRIS included Prof Olli Kallioniemi (FIMM, Finland) speaking on how primary tumour cells for drug testing and repositioning could reduce attrition rate, and Prof Marian Hajduch (IMTM, Czech Republic) presenting a study on plasma proteomic biomarkers for early detection and characterization of colorectal cancer. Anton Ussi presented “EATRIS inside” as an optimizer of public portfolios and funding programmes, and Giovanni Migliaccio the EATRIS framework for early scientific advice by National Competent Authority. The EATRIS Scientific Advisory Board was also represented by the participation of Petr Kocis. By the end, it was apparent that each organization approached the problems in translational science in a similar manner and with a common mindset. The group proposed to work together and disseminate fundamental principles for good translational science, develop comprehensive educational resources for training the next generation of translational researchers, and coordinate opportunities for collective organizational growth. This meeting was the first in a series that will continue to assemble the major actors on the translational stage to collectively tackle the global challenges in developing new medicines.