Predictive medicine or “in silico medicine” as a broader term, is the use of computer modelling and simulation in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention of a disease and development of products.

In silico medicine has only been made possible in the few decades with the vast roll out of high-throughput computing on an unprecedented scale. Processing huge quantities of complex data that can factor in all manner of variables and translating this into highly valuable knowledge is something that would have been unthinkable just a decade ago.

In silico has the potential to:

  • Allow phase one clinical trials to be done on computer rather than on animals, greatly reducing the costs for researchers and helping to achieve a reduction in animal testing as has been frequently called for by the European and national Parliaments; 
  • Enable modelling of implants tailored to the individual so that scandals such as the metal on metal hip implant incident can be avoided completely and patients receive implants fitted to suit them, improving patient safety; 
  • Provide training for young healthcare professionals so that surgeons can perform surgeries “in silico” making mistakes over and over virtually to avoid real mistakes on real patients; 
  • Reduce the unnecessary use of drugs by processing individual patient data so that the patient receives the right treatment for them, reducing costly hospital stays and expediting their recovery.

Avicenna Alliance: 
enhanced knowledge, improved decisions, better outcomes

Reducing research costs

Through better identification of promising new compounds and better predictability of which compounds are likely to fail, in silico can significantly reduce the failure rate of medicinal products and optimize the clinical trial process.

For many device designers their working methods have long involved the use of computer-aided techniques and, increasingly, anatomically-informed individualisation has contributed to the understanding and refinement of the product development process. Now in silico clinical trials offer the possibility of shortening and cost-reducing the time-to-market, by extending the computational involvement through to the regulatory phase of the process.

 

Improving patient safety

In silico medicine allows us to test scenarios which would be impossible or unethical to test in real patients. Testing the long term durability of metal on metal hip implants for example can allow us to develop safer and more effective medical devices that conform to the specifics of each patient. Similarly, with medicinal products, building advanced models based on the stratification of patients can help identify which patients may not be suited for particular treatments and allow greater predictability of drug efficacy.

 

Helping to avoid adverse reactions

There is always a leap of faith in transitioning from animal testing to testing in humans. In silico medicine can help make that leap significantly smaller. In silico applied to clinical development can change the paradigm entirely, switching from a costly trail/error model where phase 3 RCTs are exploratory to one where these Phase 3 become confirmaory of ex-ante in silico simulations, reinforcing the determination of new product value and focusing spending on the most promising scenarios.

Avicenna Alliance news

In Silico in Innovation – again!

The European Innovation Council (EIC) has released its second wave of “start-up champions” to receive funding for innovations through the EIC Accelerator. The EIC...

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Avicenna Alliance meets with MEPs to discuss in silico medicine

On 7 October, Dr. Liesbet Geris (Research Professor in Biomechanics and Computational Tissue Engineering at the Universities of Liège &...

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The Joint Research Centre advocates for a “paradigm change” to in silico research methods!

For the second week in a row, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) – part of the European Commission’s EU Science...

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The European Commission Joint Research Centre publishes a public knowledge base of non-animal models used in immuno-oncology

The Joint Research Centre (JRC), which is part of the European...

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The State of the (European) Union

On 15 September, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivered her second State of the Union speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. She took stock of...

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The BECA Beat 

The European Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) met for the first time in September of 2020. BECA was established to create actionable recommendations for Member...

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Avicenna Alliance prepares for the next EU policy session 

As September begins, politicians have returned to their EU posts and are preparing for what will be a busy few months for health policy. The...

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Joint Research Centre of the Commission launches report on national strategies for Artificial Intelligence!

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) recently published a new report...

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Conference of the Slovenian Council Presidency addresses digital twin technologies and digitalisation in healthcare!

On 15 and 16 July, the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union ...

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WHO issues first global report on use of AI in healthcare

Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications in health innovation are rapidly increasing, reflecting the potential of these technologies to...

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Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU launches its six-month programme!

On 1 July, for the second time since joining the EU in 2004, Slovenia has taken over the Presidency of the Council of...

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Members of the European Parliament call EU Health Commissioner to place in silico medicine on her policy agenda from 2021 onwards!

On 22 June, a group of five Members of the European Parliament...

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Our new position paper on in silico evidence in the regulatory approval of medical devices is out!

The Avicenna Alliance is proud to announce the recent publication of its new position paper...

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Happy 5th Anniversary to the Avicenna Alliance!  

5 years ago, based on the very enlightening Avicenna Roadmap Project Report, the Avicenna Alliance was established at the suggestion of European...

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EU New Medical Device Regulation now in force! In silico mentioned for the first time

After a one-year postponement following the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission’s Medical Devices...

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The European Commission adopts Communication on Europe's global approach to cooperation in research and innovation

On 18 May, the European Commission adopted a Communication on its global approach...

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Avicenna Alliance provides feedback on the European Commissions’ roadmap for the revision of the EU general pharmaceuticals legislation

On 27 April, the Avicenna Alliance has submitted its feedback...

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