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Friday March 22, 2024 | Videos

  • “About 30-40% of patients have a poor response to existing treatments today,” says Mexican-American doctor Marta Alarcón, director of GENYO.
  • The Colombian Doctor Francisco Lopera says that “in five years we will have much more effective and interesting treatments against Alzheimer’s disease; and in 10 years we will have 100% effective treatments to prevent and cure it”.
  • Peruvian journalist Fabiola Torres, director and founder of the digital magazine ‘Salud con lupa’, will participate in the first international meeting organized by the National Association of Health Informers (ANIS), which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2024.
  • BioMed & Tech Talks’ will be held at the Hospital Clínico Universitario San Cecilio in Granada from April 8 to 11, 2024, coinciding with World Health Day and World Health Week.

Latin America will play a leading role in the event that is set to become a reference for innovation and research in BioMedicine and BioTechnology in Southern Europe. Several Latin American experts will contribute their voice and experience in the ‘BioMed & Tech Talks’: Your appointment with research and innovation, which already has on its agenda representatives from the WHO, the European Union, FarmaIndustria, multinational pharmaceutical industry and health communicators from the United States, Europe and Latin America.

BioMed &Tech Talks’ is supported by the Fundación Progreso y Salud (FPS), of the Consejería de Salud y Consumo de la Junta de Andalucía, and representatives from the Universities of Harvard (USA), Oxford (UK), Granada, Cordoba and Seville, as well as others from Mexico, Colombia and Peru are also participating.

Marta Alarcón, new GENYO director

The Mexican-American doctor Marta Alarcón Riquelme, new director of the Genomics and Oncology Research Center (GENYO), will be one of the leading figures of this first edition. An international reference in autoimmune pathologies, she currently carries out her professional work in Granada, from where she leads the ‘3TR Project’, the largest immunology project of the European Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI2), endowed with 8 million euros and involving 15 countries and 69 public and private partners.

Dr. Riquelme emphasizes that it is a “European research project to improve the response to treatment in autoimmune, inflammatory and allergic diseases,” such as asthma, multiple sclerosis, lupus, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The ‘3TR Project’ is an ambitious research project that could change the way in which patients with immune-mediated diseases receive their treatments, since, according to the researcher, “around 30-40% of patients have a poor response to the treatments that exist today”. The doctor and her team are looking for a solution to “why a patient does not respond adequately to a certain treatment”, while at the same time determining whether the same treatment can be used to treat two different diseases.

Francisco Lopera, “mapping” Alzheimer’s disease

Dr. Francisco Lopera, a renowned Colombian neurologist who leads the Neurosciences Group at the University of Antioquia (Colombia), will be another prominent protagonist of ‘BioMed & Tech Talks’, where he will address one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases worldwide: Alzheimer’s disease. The Colombian researcher says that “in five years we will have much more effective and interesting treatments and in 10 years we will have 100% effective treatments to prevent and cure it”.

For Dr. Lopera, “the hope for the coming years is preventive therapies at very early ages, that is, before the onset of the symptoms of the disease”. As he says, this will make it possible to “delay the development of the disease” and, consequently, “the appearance of symptoms at later ages than at present”, which means that “if the onset of symptoms can be delayed by 30 years, if they now appear at 65 years of age, they will appear at 95, an age that is biologically difficult to reach”.

Similarly, Dr. Francisco Lopera will talk about the work he and his team have been doing for the last 40 years, which has enabled him to find what may possibly be the cure for Alzheimer’s disease, since they have been able to identify “two human beings who were born with a very particular condition. They were born with the causality gene that condemns them to develop the disease, but at the same time they inherited a gene that delays the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms“. This will allow, through the “development of gene therapy or a molecule that mimics the mechanism of action of the protective gene, to copy nature and delay the onset of symptoms in sick people“.

Fabiola Torres, looking at ‘Salud con Lupa’.

Another protagonist coming from Latin America at the “BioMed & Tech Talks” in Granada will be the Peruvian journalist Fabiola Torres, director and founder of the digital ‘Salud con lupa’, the first research website specialized in public health in Latin America. Since 2017 she is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), while in 2020 she joined the team of professors of the Master’s Degree in Science Journalism at the Javeriana University of Colombia.

Her project ‘Scientifically Proven: an analysis of the evidence on the most widely used Covid-19 therapies in the world’ was a finalist for the Gabo 2021 and Sigma Awards 2022. Likewise, together with her team, Fabiola won the Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge in 2021 and also the Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative awarded by the Poynter Institute in the United States in 2020.

With a prolific and extensive journalistic career, Fabiola Torres is backed by a decade as a reporter at the newspaper ‘El Comercio’, in addition to being co-founder of the digital Ojo Público (2014-2019) where she was editor and coordinator of renowned investigations such as ‘The Big Pharma Project’, ‘Stolen Memory’ or ‘Supreme Fortune’.

Innovative format for a high-level event

The Hospital Clínico Universitario San Cecilio, located in the Granada Health Technology Park, will host the first edition of ‘BioMed &Tech Talks’: Your appointment with research and innovation, a new independent, transversal, international and multidisciplinary event that from April 8 to 11, 2024, coinciding with the World Health Day and Week, will give visibility to innovative projects in BioMedicine and BioTechnology.

The agenda will include two face-to-face sessions (Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 April) and two virtual sessions (10 and 11). This format allows speakers and experts who cannot travel to Granada to share their progress and messages with the entire community, which raises the academic level of this event to the highest level.

All BM&TTalks presentations can be followed through ‘The Observatory’, the digital platform of Medina Media Events, where all interventions will also be available 24/365 for on-demand consumption, like Netflix, but free of charge.