The New Era of Programmable Medicines
What is a medicine? The meaning and role of “medicine” in medical therapy has changed over time, in a constant updating with the development of knowledge and technology.
Today medical therapy is in a rapidly evolving phase. After the eras of chemical and biotechnological drugs, with Advanced Therapies Medicinal Products #ATMP and Digital Therapeutics #DTx we have now entered the new era of programmable medicine.
These are medicines that despite having a different active ingredient (genes, cells, software) share the fundamental characteristic of being designed and programmed for specific patients, providing advanced personalization of therapy.
Digital Therapeutics are therapeutic interventions, indicated for a specific disease, designed to modify the behavior of a patient in order to improve the outcome of her / his disease.
In particular, they are developed through randomized controlled clinical trials, authorized for use in clinical practice by regulatory bodies, submitted when necessary for reimbursement to HTA bodies, reimbursable by public or private health services, prescribed by the doctor.
The evolution of technology in support of medical therapy is associated with an evolution of the interaction with the patient and of the company that develops it.
With Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products and Digital Therapeutics, the role of the patient is becoming more and more active, both in the preparation and monitoring phase of the therapy and the ” expert patient” represents the most advanced expression of this role.
Participatory development represents the reference for the development of programmable medicines, where the patient is no longer a “user” of already developed therapies or a prototype “tester” in an advanced stage of development, but becomes a “partner” involved in the same way as researchers and developers from the early stages of the research and development process.
Today more and more companies involved in the research and development of programmable medicines, advanced therapies and digital therapies, are Startups, founded in close connection with academia, researchers and patients to develop specific therapies in response to emerging or mature needs.
With the development of Digital Health and the entry of software into medical therapy, today we are witnessing the development of Digital Biotechnology Companies, which use biotechnology research methods for the development of algorithm-based medicines.
The Startup needs a close collaboration with the biotechnology and pharmaceutical company, often the therapy is based on the combination of several therapeutic methods and the combination of drug and digital therapy is the most advanced expression of that.
Such collaboration is possible only through new collaborative models, able to overcome the traditional ways between supplier and client and allow the development of a new partnership, with the exclusive aim of bringing to the patient – also through programmable medicines – the health solutions to his/her illness.
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