The term “Translational Medicine” has made its appearance on the international stage in recent years. This indicates that more attention needs to be paid to the process of translation in medical research. This process is in need of reform, as demonstrated by the disconnection between the historically unique wealth of new findings from research and development and the relatively small number of truly innovative products that come to market in the interests of patients.
Besides the stringent quality demands to be met by the translation process – and rightly so – in order to protect the individual on whom new products and processes are used for the first time, there are various reasons for the rather slow development in translation, such as
- the lack of scientific understanding of the translational process
- the inadequate training of those involved in it
- false incentives
- dividing walls between industry, university and university clinical research
- regulatory and administrative imponderabilities
These obstacles demotivate all the partners involved in the process of translation
- basic researchers
Key issues for sitem-insel
To bridge weaknesses in the translation process, sitem-insel does not focus on pre-defined individual medical disciplines or products but rather develops the following three areas:
- Training specialists in translation (Swiss School for Translation and Entrepreneurship in Medicine) with the aim of professionalizing the process.
- Providing infrastructure and personnel (Enabling Facilities) at the interface between industry, non-clinical research departments and the university hospitals to promote cooperation.
- Establishing Translation Promoting Services to optimize the administrative/regulatory effort along the route from laboratory bench to commercial product.