Commission answers parliamentary question on primary immune deficiency

February 14, 2003

Strasbourg, 13 February 2003

Verbatim report of proceedings, 13 February 2003, Part A

Fråga nr 60 från Per-Arne Arvidsson (H-0012/03)
Angående: Åtgärder mot primär immunbristsjukdom

Answer
Although the topic of Primary Immune Deficiency was not specifically selected in the first call for the Priority 1 "Genomics and health" under the 6th Framework programme, quite a lot of research covered by this priority will be directly beneficial to research on Primary Immune Deficiency (PID), its diagnosis and treatment. Indeed several topics covered in the work programme in different sections of this priority are directly relevant for research into PID and its treatment and will allow progress to be made. These topics certainly offer opportunities for the scientific community involved in PID research to apply for support in their field. Examples are for instance:

- Functional genomics approaches in animal models to study human disease of the immune system;

- Optimised allogeneic stem cell transplantation for haematological and neoplastic diseases;

- Gene therapy of inherited diseases;

- Large epidemiological studies of X-linked syndromes;

- Genome-based individualised medicines;

- Medicines for paediatrics;

- Development of genetic tests allowing for harmonisation, validation and standardisation;- Development of a European databank comprising recent advances in genomics, proteomics and cell biology for immunotherapies;

- Co-ordination of rare disease research in Europe, with various stakeholders from research, small and medium-sized enterprises and patient organisations;

- Molecular markers of congenital anomalies.

In the course of the 6th Framework Programme the Commission will continuously reexamine all available scientific elements as a basis for the selection of priority topics for future calls under Priority 1. In that context the Commission will certainly carefully reconsider, in collaboration with the scientific Advisory Committee and the Priority 1 "Genomics and Biotechnology for Health Programee Committee", the need for further research on Primary Immune Deficiency.

In the framework of the Community Programme for rare diseases, a project was supported in 2002 entitled "Information Network for Immunodeficiencies" (N° 2000/RD/10024). The project partner was the University of Tampere. This network is still functioning. It is one of the activities of the European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID).

The Work Plan for 2003 within the Community Public Health Programme 2003-2008 will be published shortly together with a call for proposals. This will include the area of rare diseases. The projects proposed for financial support will be selected according to criteria defined for the Programme, which will also be published.

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