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InnoStars, InnoStars

Italian Advice Pharma joined EIT Health

2nd August 2023

Advice Pharma, an Italian company specialising in services to support clinical research, including services R&D of digital medical devices, joined EIT Health. This partnership opens up opportunities for Advice Pharma to collaborate with EIT Health and approximately 130 top institutions, companies, and universities in Europe already in the partner network. Advice Pharma is among several other new partners that have joined the EIT Health community recently, including SmartHumed, a digital healthcare management service provider in Hungary, and the Silesian University of Technology, with its European HealthTech Innovation Centre (EHTIC), a state-of-the-art R&D centre in Poland.

EIT Health, part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union is one of the largest European public-private partnerships in healthcare innovation, with a mission to build an ecosystem that enables the development of healthcare for the future so that European citizens can live longer and healthier lives. The InnoStars cluster, one of the eight geographical areas of EIT Health, covers half of Europe, including Italy, Poland, Hungary, and Portugal, as well as nine additional countries in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, being part of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme.

As a new Partner, Advice Pharma will collaborate with other Italian and European partners to support clinical research and on real world evidence projects to generate evidence for digital health technologies in Europe. Advice Pharma is part of the industrial group Sapio. At the end of 2021 Sapio Group, through its subsidiary BioRep, and Advice Pharma Group signed a partnership agreement aimed at creating an integrated offering in the area of Digital Therapeutics Development (DTx) and research services.

The company has many years of experience in clinical research for pharmaceuticals and biomedical firms, in the development of eCRF/EDC, clinical data management, and in designing IT solutions for real-world evidence generation, including IT applications in mHealth/eHealth.

Advice Pharma is certified ISO13485 for the manufacturing and CE marking of software as medical devices for Digital Therapeutics and Digital Medicine. Leveraging a GDPR compliant re-utilization of the collected data may support the generation of massive Real World Data and Evidence. Advice Pharma collaborates with pharmaceutical, biotechnological, and biomedical companies, public and private hospitals, research centres and laboratories.

“Joining EIT Health opens up additional opportunities for development in the field of applying for innovative research projects carried out in international teams,” said Alessandro Ferri, the president of Advice Pharma. “Projects with a scientific and economic dimension have an impact on strengthening academic and entrepreneurial cooperation, as well as influencing the development in the field of healthcare.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Advice Pharma in the EIT Health network,” said Chiara Maiorino, Ecosystem Lead for Italy, EIT Health. “As part of this collaboration, we work towards a shared vision of improving healthcare in Italy and the whole of Europe through innovation, with the end goal of demonstrating a meaningful positive impact on society. We look forward to the fruitful outputs of our new partnership.”

EIT Health and Italy – a fruitful relationship

According to the recent EIT Health study called “InnoStars Innovation Index”, Italy is a strategic location for EIT Health, and the country’s healthcare start-up ecosystem is emerging as one of the most promising in the region and beyond. It is one of the four countries in the InnoStars region that has a dedicated Ecosystem Lead and a partner network of leading enterprises, universities, and research institutes. Synlab Italia, the EIT Health core partner in the country, is the European leader in supplying services of medical diagnostic, with an overall offer of services of Laboratory Medicine for patients, physicians, hospitals and pharma companies.  Other Italian Associate Partners are the University of Naples “Federico II” (UNINA), the University of Turin, Synlab SDN, Bio Check Up, ART-ER and Fondazione Bruno Kessler. The network is completed by other three partners and namely Life Science Industry, Bioindustry Park Silvano Fumero and Value Services.

Europe’s leading healthcare innovation network has invested around €2 million in boosting innovation in Italy. EIT Health has also been committed to supporting Italian start-ups: 60 of them have received around €3 million worth of financial, mentoring, training, and networking assistance. The support and visibility they obtained allowed them to gain additional funding – for an amount of cca. €17 million – and to attract external partners for their projects.

Italy’s healthcare start-up ecosystem is buzzing with success stories and is rapidly gaining recognition as one of the most promising in Europe. From university spinoffs focused on digital diagnostics to breakthroughs in medical technology, dozens of teams have benefited from the financial and matchmaking opportunities provided by EIT Health, and Italian teams excel in start-up competitions. One of them is NIB Biotec, a firm developing a smart biosensor for diagnosing prostate cancer. Another start-up, Fidelio Medical is transforming the way women with iron deficiency are screened, monitored, and mentored.

One of the biggest success stories from Italy is PatchAI, a firm that developed an empathetic virtual companion which delivers personalised human-centric interactions to patients and collects real-world data in real-time. PatchAI have been acquired by the US firm Alira Health in 2021.

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