As Pfizer Clinical Research Unit Brussels (PCRUB) celebrates its 20 years of research and development of new drugs Pfizer launches an appeal to all universities and partners in the healthcare sector in efforts to restore the momentum of Phase 1 clinical studies in Belgium.
In the presence of Mr. Pascal Smet, Flemish Minister for Education, Youth and Equal Opportunities and for Brussels, and Mr. Jean-Claude Marcourt, Walloon Minister of Economy, SMEs, Foreign Trade and new Technologies, the PCRUB proudly celebrated 20 years of experience in Phase 1 clinical studies. In light of this celebration, together they have launched a call to all Belgian universities to restore momentum of Phase 1 clinical studies. Mr. Marcourt addressed the commitment of Flanders (Flander’s Care program) and the ambition of Plan Marshall Wallonia and its BioWin program each of which collaboratively share the hope of creating a stronger position for Wallonia on the international scene.
Since its inception, the PCRUB has clearly demonstrated a more than positive outcome. Situated just outside of Brussels, the PCRUB’s unique research facility embraces 20 years of experience in Phase 1 clinical trials. To date, at least 420 studies, ranging in subject matter, have already been conducted and the center has already welcomed approximately 9,000 patients and healthy volunteers in its different studies. In addition, thanks to their efforts and continued developments, PCRUB has helped develop 10 drugs that are currently on the market and in the near future, expect to market a drug for the treatment of lung cancer.
Of Pfizer’s three research centers worldwide, Belgium, not by happenstance, was chosen at the time for its strong tradition of high quality scientific research and the easy accessibility to the network of renowned universities in Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels regions, all located within a radius of 100 km. The favorable conditions offered by the Belgian authorities have also helped build Belgium’s excellent reputation in clinical studies both in Europe and worldwide.
However, after several years of continued growth in the number of clinical studies conducted in Belgium, certain red flags were not to be ignored! Evidence displaying a steady decline in the number of clinical studies has shown that this once strong Belgian tradition is today, being threatened by the emerging countries of Asia and Eastern Europe. More specifically, those countries that are demanding, in effect, a lower cost basis and that are already in possession of a full patient database.
With the support of regional authorities PCRUB hopes to reverse this trend and is confident it can succeed in attracting and surrounding itself with new volunteers, patients, doctors and universities. PCRUB hopes with its appeal to all Belgian universities and potential partners, to stimulate interest in developing ‘academic corporate partnerships’ of which it will put forward its expertise, know-how and infrastructure to the servicing of new drug development. Through past experiences with prior collaborations the PCRUB is convinced that the future of the industry lies right here in Belgium!
In its search for academic, public and private collaboration, the PCRUB cites the following advantages of partnering in Belgium:
• Belgian universities’ Faculties of Medicine are involved in the development of new drugs at an early stage. Analysis and results of studies are of great interest for academic research and schools have the opportunity to enhance their visibility in scientific literature.
• Belgian medical corps, from the outset, has the opportunity to gain experience with innovative drugs at an early stage. Doctors can therefore propose specific treatment possibilities to patients suffering from certain pathologies, offering them new alternatives to heal.
• Contribution of volunteers is of crucial importance for the future perspective of the patients. Patients benefit from having quicker access to innovative drugs allowing them a chance to heal.
• Authorities have every interest that these quality studies are and continue to be conducted in Belgium, and can hereby play a coordinating role not only in terms of teaching but in supporting research and scientific innovation as well. It’s important to note that the sector has the potential of creating 4,200 jobs and in partnering with PCRUB, the authorities defend the leadership position and reputation of Belgium in clinical studies within the European sphere.
Daniel Van Bellinghen
Pfizer Belgium / Luxembourg
Tel : +32 (0)2 554 67 22 – GSM : +32 (0)475 84 12 06
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Erik Brouwer
Site Leader / Medical Director (Pfizer Clinical Research Unit)
Tel : +32 (0)2 556 7020 – GSM : +32 (0)485 36 55 62
E-mail : email@example.com