Fighting Animal Diseases – Identifying Research Priorities

The 5-year project funded by the European Commission’s Framework Programme 7 started in 2008 and aims to stimulate the delivery of new or improved diagnostics, vaccines or pharmaceuticals in order to improve the ability to control animal diseases.

 
 
 
Brussels, 15 November 2012 – All 52 diseases under consideration in the DISCONTOOLS project have now been successfully analysed and prioritised for research purposes. This completion of the gap analysis and prioritisation work was one topic for discussion at today’s conference titled ‘Fighting Animal Diseases – Identifying Research Priorities’ along with the burning question of ‘Where do we go from here?’.
 
Around 120 scientists, researchers, regulators and other stakeholders met in Brussels to discuss the culmination of almost five years of work involving up to 400 scientists from 36 countries around the globe. The conference is the first opportunity to review the full range of results from the gap analysis and prioritisation work involving all the diseases selected for the project and to consider the value of what has been achieved so far and the potential impact on animal health and welfare as well as public health.
 
A joint initiative of the animal health industry and a wide range of stakeholders including the research community, regulatory bodies and others, DISCONTOOLS is the FP7 project that focuses on the prioritisation of research to accelerate innovation in the field of animal health. Now focusing on the future targeting of research funds from both public and private sectors, DISCONTOOLS aims to make optimal use of resources and links with other research networks as we further efforts to provide innovative tools to control, reduce and eliminate animal diseases.
 
With the project results publicly available on www.discontools.eu, epizootic, zoonotic and production diseases can be consulted separately in the reference database which outlines what treatments are available and prioritises research into new or improved diagnostics, vaccines and pharmaceuticals.
 
“Looking forward, we need to prioritise our research efforts and focus on key targets. The prioritisation model is complete and 52 diseases have been analysed so far but there is so much more that can be done. Results of the project should guide future funding for research as we look to the next major European funding cycle – Horizon 2020”, said Declan O’Brien, DISCONTOOLS Project Coordinator.
 
The DISCONTOOLS project led by IFAH-Europe, originated from the Action Plan of the European Technology Platform for Global Animal Health (ETPGAH – www.etpgah.eu) where it was recognised that disease prioritisation was one of the most important initiatives that needed to be undertaken to focus and prioritise research. The 5-year project funded by the European Commission’s Framework Programme 7 (FP7) started in 2008 and aims to stimulate the delivery of new or improved diagnostics, vaccines or pharmaceuticals in order to improve the ability to control animal diseases. A further objective is to ensure the deployment of new technologies in the animal health area as rapidly as possible by developing a blueprint for the identification and evaluation of new technologies. For further information on DISCONTOOLS, please visit www.discontools.eu.

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