Impressions of the CLINAM 2014, June 23-25, in Basel

Three most interesting and demanding days of the CLINAM are over.  Once again the European Summit for Clinical Nanomedicine and Targeted Medicine, short CLINAM, presented an impressive and dense programm with reknown  speakers followed by intense discussions.

But a few facts first: 500 participants (industry, academia, physicians, governments, associations), 175 presentations, numerous posters, several plenary sessions plus the attendance of nobel laureates (Aaron Ciechanover, Werner Arber, Gerd Binning)! Now in its seventh year, the CLINAM confirms to be one of the most important events in the area of nanomedicine on a global level. The initiatorsProfessor Patrick Hunziker and Beat Löffler can be proud of this achievement, see also their i-net.

After several opening statements  Patrick Hunziker placed the key questions of the CLINAM conference: «What do patients and society need?», «What novel technologies are ready and how to translate them?», «How can governments empower the transition?» and «What are implications of such innovations?». Generally, Nanomedicine can widen the scope of therapeutics by new nanomaterials or nanosystems together with pharma and biotech.

40 different sessions
In-depth discussion happened in 40 sessions with topics ranging from personalised medicine, over nanoparticles and formulations, antibodies, different diseases including neglected diseases up to ethical topics. Also project advances of the two national research programs NRP 62 «Smart Materials» and NRP «Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterilas» were presented.  

Aaron Ciechanover presented the ubiquitin system and explained how - in a most clever way - our own proteins are marked and destructed, while other non-marked proteins stay intact. Overall, 6-8% of all proteins in our body are being degraded and recycled. In 2004 he received the noble price for this new insight together with others. Could these mechanisms be used to advance medicine and prevent unwanted protein agglomeration as in Alzheimer? Maybe.

International plenary session aboud regulations of the governments
«Do the regulations of the governments help or hinder?» A high-level plenary session with representatives from EU, US, Canada, Australia, China, India and Switzerland tried to find answers to the question how to find a balance between fully tested medication and personalized medicine, which should be applied fast and can never be tested on a large number of people. Could platform-technologies been approved and personalized «modifications» a way to go forward? Surely, regulatory authorities don’t have this flexibility yet, but some rethinking is taking place.

Finally, Patrick Hunziker reminded the audience with examples of historical and actual persons how important is it to «care» and really drive new ideas forward to realize innovation for the benefit of the society - or as written on the last slide by Beat Löffler «Innovation is driven by those who care and therefore find ways to change the Status Quo. See you at CLINAM 2015». 

This 7th CLINAM conference in Basel surely brought many different players together and provoked new ideas - great thanks to the organizers and contributors! 

Text and photos: Ralf Dümpelmann, i-net