20 May 2014, Paris, France: The first PCR Innovation Day focused on facilitating a constructive interaction between the key stakeholders--physicians, inventors, entrepreneurs, investors, start-ups, MedTech incubators, regulatory organisations and larger companies --in the ecosystem of European cardiovascular innovation. Delegates attending the session yesterday saw distinct value in the programme that was structured around unmet clinical needs in the interventional cardiovascular field as defined by leading clinicians, gathered in Paris, in advance of EuroPCR 2014, which begins today. At the Innovation Day held yesterday, physicians posed pertinent questions to innovators presenting their early research/pre-clinical disruptive innovations, moving away from the classical approach of using just an economic approach to innovation.
The Innovation Day provided an opportunity for all the key stakeholders to network within a structured programme that focused on unmet clinical needs in the landscape of interventional cardiovascular medicine, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care and outcomes.
"From the feedback that we have received from the various quarters, a second edition is on target," said William Wijns, Chairman of PCR and Course Director of EuroPCR. He commented on the audience reflecting the right mix of all the stakeholders in the "ecosystem" of innovation. "The idea came about because we realised that during the week EuroPCR 2014 is set to take place, we have present in Paris, all the actors involved who eventually bring an invention to the bedside. The faculty is a reflection of a number of top-level people in Europe and beyond. Also, the dialogue between us interventional cardiologists and the industry with our aligned interests to improve outcomes for patients, is vital for innovation to progress," he said.
Thierry Herbreteau, Chief Executive Officer, Europa Group, said: "For the Innovation Day, EuroPCR physician experts identified the areas of unmet clinical needs. Then, the opportunities for inventors and start-ups to show their innovative and disruptive technologies were defined and discussion was structured around this. There is well-regarded tradition of excellent research in cardiovascular medicine in Europe; on the other hand, the journey to innovation is not easy. We believe it needs to be supported and with that in mind, we have facilitated the coming together of all the actors in the ecosystem."
Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners, and a well-respected investor in Europe, stressed that successful technologies heavily relied on inventors being well-integrated into a team. The exciting thing about this Innovation Day is that we have picked a number of companies, or academic researchers, to present at an early stage. Having multiple parties commenting on these presentations and asking questions about the technology is the way to "de-bug" their programme on every side. Several of these companies will be very hot three or four years from now and the programme is like a preview of things to come," Papiernik said.
Speaking on the upcoming changes to medical device regulation set to take place in Europe, Serge Bernasconi, Chief Executive Officer, MedTech Europe, said: "We are totally rethinking the way we approve innovative medical devices in the coming months and years. There was a significant need for improvement as we were using an over 15-year-old directive and we are going to enter new regulation [expected to take effect in 2018]. The critical aspect is to continue to leverage the unique system of CE marking which has been demonstrated in the past to be an effective system to approve innovation rapidly for patients. At the same time, we need to prioritise patient safety," he noted.
Bernasconi commented further on wishing to preserve the strengths of Europe as a critical space for innovation. "As an industry, we want to preserve and maintain the unique creativity from physicians in Europe and foster investment in innovation in Europe," he said.
Michele Perrino, Chairman of the Cardiovascular sector of Eucomed, said: "My key learning today is that we can connect people and put innovation in the centre of our discussion."
Michael Onuscheck, vice chairman of the Cardiovascular sector of Eucomed and president of Boston Scientific said, "The interesting thing [about the Innovation Day] is that you have got the physician community and society standing up and saying that innovation is important; you have an opportunity for the small start-up companies to get exposure with the larger companies like the one that I work for, where we consolidate these companies and bring them to market. This is a day where that interaction is enabled, the environment is created where we can have successful conversations that help advance the care for patients. So this type of day is an incubator for great ideas, and a forum for us to share concepts and challenges across the industry."
Eric Le Royer, Managing Director, Latitude MedSolutions, who spoke from the viewpoint of an entrepreneur said: "Innovation is not one individual's task; it is about teamwork. I think PCR is doing the right thing in focusing on early stage companies and ensuring that we have both business and clinical discussions with the leading physicians in the field, because the relationship between innovation and clinical leaders keeps innovation moving on the right track, and ultimately makes it successful."
Niccolo Piazza, interventional cardiologist with the McGill University in Montreal, Canada, Cardiovascular Centre, Munich, Germany, and a physician who is interested in innovation, said: "A refreshing session such as the PCR Innovation Day highlights the direct and indirect links between all of us, the various actors in the landscape of innovation. This opportunity to work together could lead to the creation of new ideas and collaborations that would not otherwise be possible."
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What is EuroPCR?
EuroPCR, the official annual meeting of the European Association for Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI), a registered branch of the European Society of Cardiology, is the world-leading course in interventional medicine. PCR has established a distinctive format for educational activities in the field of cardiovascular interventions. Beyond its flagship course in Paris that gathers more than 12,000 participants every year, PCR organises annual courses in Singapore, London, Dubai and Cape Town. For further information on EuroPCR, AsiaPCR/SingLIVE, PCR London Valves, GulfPCR-GIM, AfricaPCR & PCR, please contact: Anne-Sophie Lartigau firstname.lastname@example.org.
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