Navarre to Participate in Three Nationwide Programs to Promote Precision Medicine

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Navarre to Participate in Three Nationwide Programs to Promote Precision Medicine

  • Professionals from the SNS, NASERTIC and Navarrabiomed will collaborate on the IMPaCT call for grant applications announced by the Carlos III Health Institute, in the areas of Genomic Medicine, Predictive Medicine and Data Science

Professionals from the Navarre Health Service (SNS), NASERTIC (Navarre Services and Technologies) and Navarrabiomed Biomedical Research Center will participate in three programs in the call to promote the Precision Medicine Infrastructure Associated with Science and Technology (IMPaCT), which is run by the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) and seeks to promote precision medicine.

The three programs promoted as part of this initiative are Genomic Medicine, Predictive Medicine and Data Science.
The call to promote IMPaCT represents the first step in the new Spanish Personalized Medicine Strategy and has been allocated a budget of 25.8 million euros.

The Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII), an organization belonging to the Ministry of Science and Innovation, is promoting this initiative around these programs.

It will lead to progress in the implementation of personalized precision medicine in Spain by generating genomic information and integrating it with clinical information and environmental factors to improve diagnosis, treatment and the ability to predict diseases, thereby providing safer, more efficient preventive and predictive medicine.

To that end, the plan is to create new massive sequencing and data analysis centers and biobanks, and to promote the development of new computing and data processing techniques and models to improve the exploitation and interoperability of existing systems in order to set up an infrastructure of services with the capacity to support national health systems and the potential to participate in international projects.

Development of programs and public participation in Navarre

The first of the three programs, the Genomic Medicine Program, will involve developing a network of five reference centers for genomic analysis, one of which will be located in Navarre. An alliance between the Hospital Complex of Navarre, Navarrabiomed and NASERTIC has been established in the region of Navarre. Ángel Alonso, head of the Navarrabiomed Genomic Medicine Unit and coordinator of the Technical Committee of the Interdepartmental Strategy for Personalized Medicine of the Government of Navarre, will lead Navarre’s public participation.

In addition, a group of clinical experts will be created and a total of 38 centers from all autonomous communities will take part: 25 hospitals and 13 research centers and universities, including the Universidad de Navarra. Ángel Carracedo, from the CIBER for Rare Diseases (CIBERER), will be responsible for coordinating the program, which will benefit from 7.24 million euros in funding.

Thus, Navarre is set to become one of Spain’s five “genetics capitals” thanks to the Government of Navarre’s commitment to the NASERTIC Center for Mass Sequencing and Supercomputing. The public company will carry out the sequencing of genomes and exomes from patients in Navarre, Cantabria, the Basque Country and La Rioja. In addition, the following will be implemented in coordination with four other sequencing centers (CRG-CNAG, the Galician Public Foundation of Genomic Medicine, CIBERER, and the Progress and Health Foundation) and hospitals and research centers throughout Spain with a view to making progress in the development of the National Genomic Medicine Plan: protocols and standards for the analysis, interpretation and diagnosis of patients with rare diseases and cancer, the study of markers of drugs with high therapeutic impact, data access models, and an ethical and legal framework.

The Predictive Medicine Program aims to create and maintain a population-based cohort (a group that forms part of a clinical trial or study and is observed over a period of time) for including clinical, epidemiological and biological data.

A total of 21 hospitals and research centers throughout Spain are expected to participate and will be coordinated by Marina Pollán from the CIBER for Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP). Navarre will participate in the project through the primary care department of the Navarre Health Service. The team will be led by Patricia Palacios.

Like the previous program, it will be managed at the national level by the CIBER Consortium and will benefit from funding of 14 million euros.

The Data Science Program will involve creating and maintaining a system for collection, integration and analysis of clinical and molecular data. The program will benefit from the participation of 47 institutions representing all autonomous communities with accredited health research institutes, as well as the collaboration of companies, foundations, universities and research centers. It will receive funding to the tune of 4.55 million euros. The initiative will be coordinated by Alfonso Valencia from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC).

The program will be managed in Navarre by the Navarrabiomed Translational Bioinformatics Unit and will be led by unit head David Gómez-Cabrero. In addition, professionals from NASERTIC, the Navarrabiomed Methodology Unit and the Government of Navarre’s Department of Health and Department of University, Innovation and Digital Transformation will participate.

In total, more than 100 institutions from all autonomous communities will collaborate on implementation of the three IMPaCT programs.