Preclinical research in Poland: the question of ‘how’ rather than ‘if’
How to initiate the research and development process so as to turn its results into products and technologies? How to effectively commercialise research results? These are the challenges frequently encountered by scientists. They are tackled by the PACTT-Pfizer Academy of Effective Preclinical Research – a pioneering program of the Polish Association of Centers for Technology Transfer and Pfizer Poland, launched in late November 2019. During cyclical sessions of the Academy, 25 participants supervised by Polish and foreign experts representing various institutions and the scientific and business community strengthen their competencies in terms of planning, design and implementation of preclinical research, so as to utilise the effects in the future to the benefit of the patients, contributing to improved quality of life and increased life expectancy.
The PACTT-Pfizer Academy of Effective Preclinical Research is an interdisciplinary education project aimed at supporting the development of the innovativeness of Polish science. The project is a shared response of the Polish Association of Centers for Technology Transfer and the National Medicines Institute, the University of Warsaw, the Medical University of Warsaw and Pfizer Polska to the need of supporting and leading to advancements in Polish science in the area of preclinical research.
On average, only one in 8000 of the tested substances can give rise to a new medicine. Its marketing is usually preceded by over a dozen years of R&D work. Early phases – preclinical trials and the first clinical trial phase – are a crucial part of the development process and to introduce new medical technologies to the market. Already at these stages scientists need help in popularising the outcomes of many years of their work.
“How to provide support to scientists in this process? First of all, it is worth shifting the emphasis, so that research would be planned and conducted with a view to achieving utilitarian values and future commercialisation. Planning and designing preclinical research and current knowledge on regulations and provisions of international law are essential for the success of the process. The wide interest in participation in the PACTT-Pfizer Academy of Effective Preclinical Research and over 140 submissions for the project show that there is demand for improving and deepening knowledge in this area, and the participants are very keen on learning from experts,” explained dr Robert Dwiliński, President of the PACTT Foundation, Director of the University Technology Transfer Centre of the University of Warsaw. By launching the PACTT – Pfizer Academy, we are taking a small step towards increasing the potential of Polish science and turning scientific achievements into real-life technologies.
The PACTT – Pfizer Academy provides comprehensive knowledge on, i.a., planning, designing and implementing preclinical trials. Thanks to inviting Polish and foreign lecturers to the project, the program provides an opportunity to strengthen and improve the competences of academic staff of universities, science and research centres and technology transfer centres, among others in terms of most recent EU procedures and formal requirements for running preclinical trials. This leads to greater chances of establishing more extensive cooperation in the field of science and business.
“At the PACTT – Pfizer Academy we do not try to initiate another discussion on opportunities available to the Polish biotech sector, but instead we focus on action. Together with the Academy’s partners, we have designed and are now launching a program of strengthening and improving the competencies of scientists in the field of preclinical trials in order to really enable them to develop their projects. We believe that the PACTT – Pfizer Academy’s contribution will make it possible for the participants to gain practical knowledge and to engage in networking, exchange their experience and establish contacts, which is essential in turning ideas into concrete solutions,” explained dr Anna Kowalczuk, Director of the National Medicines Institute.
The Academy’s goals also include strengthening dialogue and understanding between the scientific and business communities, which involves learning about each other’s needs and expectations, whose fulfilment provides grounds for reinforcing Poland’s position in the field of biotechnology.
“The extensive interest in joining the PACTT-Pfizer Academy of Effective Preclinical Research is a very clear message for us that it’s worth supporting the activities which contribute to the further development of competencies of scientists and innovators. We believe that they will be able to act and that the effects of their research will be available to patients. The Academy is only a small step to bring us closer to achieving this goal,” clarified dr Michał Kurzelewski, Director for Medical Affairs at Pfizer Polska. The Academy started with an expert debate on solutions supporting scientists in the process of creating and sharing innovation in medicine.
The PACTT-Pfizer Academy of Effective Preclinical Research operates under the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development. The patrons of the Academy are the Medical Research Agency and the National Medicines Institute. The partners of this initiative include the Medical University of Warsaw, the University of Warsaw and Pfizer Polska.
 Data provided by INFARMA, the Employers’ Union of Innovative Pharmaceutical Companies, https://www.infarma.pl/innowacje/jak-powstaja-leki/, accessed online on 3 November 2019
Pfizer Polska Sp. z o.o.
Last Updated on January 26, 2021 by Karolina Ampulska