Insigneo Showcase 2018: in silico medicine innovations

Insigneo Showcase 2018: in silico medicine innovations

*New content – A selection of presentations and slides from the day*

The 2018 Insigneo Showcase took place on Thursday 3 May at the University of Sheffield’s Octagon Centre and focused on highlighting the latest in silico medicine innovations produced by Insigneo. Interest in the potential of in silico technologies continues to grow, this year was our biggest Showcase event ever with over 250 attendees from academia, industry, and funding bodies.

The Insigneo Institute for in silico Medicine is a research institute established as a collaborative initiative between the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where we develop sophisticated computer simulations of human physiology, in health and disease, in order to improve clinical diagnosis and treatment. With a multi-disciplinary membership of over 140 academics and clinicians, Insigneo is Europe’s largest centre dedicated to these activities, in the emerging discipline known as in silico medicine.

This year the keynote speaker was Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, Director of the National Institute for Health Research Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) on Translational Neuroscience for Chronic Neurological Disorders, who presented the research of the BRC and how the application of in silico medicine technologies will contribute to research into interventions for neurodegenerative diseases.

The programme for the day was divided into four themes:

In silico science
In silico technologies
In silico medicine: predictive medicine
In silico for industrial exploitation

The research presented included Dr Cécile Perrault’s talk on the role of mechanical forces on cardiovascular diseases, in particular in relation to the design of stents and the potential for in silico technologies to save time and money during development. Professor Wendy Tindale’s talk on translation and adoption of medical devices in the NHS provoked much discussion and presented some of the challenges to be overcome.

Insigneo Executive Director, Professor Marco Viceconti, commented: “In silico technologies enable a more personalised medicine, which will mean a more participatory medicine where the patient can decide what is the best course of action, and a more preventive medicine where we intervene before things get really bad. For me the most important goal is to improve the quality of life, rather than the quantity. We live long enough, but the quality of life of patients with chronic conditions is still quite poor.”

Professor Viceconti continued “Looking to the future for Insigneo, in silico clinical trials will be important. At the moment it takes too long to develop new drugs and new medical technologies, and it is too expensive. As a result, developing treatments for any condition that affects only a few people is hardly viable, from a commercial point of view. Or, even worse it produces therapies that can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds per year per patient, which for me is the same because I believe a cure only for the rich is no cure. Modelling and simulation in general and subject-specific in silico medicine in particular is now mature enough to be used to reduce, refine and partially replace both animal and human experimentation involved in the development and safety testing of new treatments. This will reduce animal experimentation, but I believe in the long-run will also reduce considerably the costs involved, and the time to market for new treatments.”

As well as presentations from Insigneo members, the day also included engaging displays of high-quality research; an exhibition area showcasing in silico medicine’s latest commercial applications; networking opportunities and one-to-one discussions with funders, academics and clinicians.

Professor Marco Viceconti’s opening speech

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