04 October 2018

President's Blog: Third Quarter 2018

Dear Friends,

We last met in Bethesda, during the 5th Annual Drug Discovery & Development Symposium. The summer went by so quickly, as it usually does, and the fall is already settling in, which only means that the 13th PVRI meeting in Barcelona is just around the corner. Thanks to our superb Scientific Organising Committee - composed of Sebastien Bonnet, Steeve Provencher, Anna Hemnes, Soni Savai-Pullamsetti, Joan Albert Barbera and Christophe Guignabert - the programme, which is currently receiving its final touches, promises to be well-balanced and of very high scientific quality. Our meeting will be immediately followed, conveniently in the same venue, by the 1st Symposium of the International Consortium for Genetic Studies in PAH organised by Nick Morrell under the PVRI banner. Abstract submissions for both meetings are now open online. We hope to see many of you in Barcelona for these two exciting scientific events.

We have been busy in the past few months! The 5th Drug Development Symposium was held in Bethesda on 9 and 10 July 2018 under the auspices of the Organising Committee composed of PVRI members Bradley Maron, John Newman and Stuart Rich. The aim of this meeting was to bring together the pharma industry, academia and regulatory bodies for the development of improved PAH targeted therapies. I am happy to report that attendance was impressive, with 123 registrations, including 46 from pharma and 19 regulatory members. The science was of very high standard and well received by the audience based on lively discussions. We look forward to the 6th Drug Development Symposium, which will be held in Paris, under Gérald Simonneau and Stuart Rich’s leadership. We hope for a healthy contribution from the European Medical Association, similar to the FDA representation at the Bethesda meeting.

The ERS International Congress, currently the largest meeting in the world for pulmonary physicians, took place in Paris from 15 to 19 September 2018 and was very well attended as usual. Topics on pulmonary vascular diseases were prominently featured in the form of sessions, oral presentations and abstracts. The involvement of many PVRI members at various presentations and discussions was quite noteworthy. Also of note, the PVRI Pharma Task Force, recently renamed as the Innovative Drug Development Initiative (IDDI), held a very successful face to face meeting led by Sylvia Nikkho and Paul Corris at the closure of the ERS Congress. Several representatives from academia, regulatory agencies and pharma were in attendance. Presentations and discussions revolved around the three main topics of current interest for this group: Novel endpoints for clinical trials, clinical trial design and biomarkers.

From an international standpoint and in the PVRI spirit of directly encouraging local activities and creation of broader networks in areas of the world needing further PH development, we are happy to report that Yuriy Sirenko held a successful PH meeting in Kiev, attended by at least two prominent PVRI members, Glennis Haworth and Simon Gibbs. Upcoming events include a PH meeting organised in Cairo, Egypt by PVRI member Ayman Farghali, and another PH meeting in Tabriz, Iran organised by Farid Rashidi. Both meetings will be partially sponsored with participation of PVRI members to the talks.

From a PVRI educational standpoint, Martin Johnson and Colin Church from University of Glasgow, with the expert help of our marketing manager Aaron Shefras, will soon embark on the second phase of the PVRI Digital Clinic, providing 10 additional patient cases. This is expected to be launched around in 2019.

In summary, there will be intense PVRI activity in the upcoming months, which we anticipate will soon eclipse our unbelievable ongoing (local for me) political activities, which have deeply divided the nation and riveted the world, and other international disasters. As for us we will continue to thrive, expanding our PVRI network in more inclusive and diverse activities. 


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