A sneak peek to the future: ÄLY seminar puts the spotlight on Finnish innovations and solutions for sustainable drug development
In this year’s ÄLY seminar organised by DRA, the discussion turned around different future visions about green pharmacy, corporate social responsibility, the latest innovations in health technology and the possibilities that quantum technology can offer for drug development.
Futurist Elina Hiltunen: The climate change and ecological crisis leading to decrease of resources are megatrends that every company should take into account when looking into the future. The predictions of the future are the sum of facts and imagination. The facts are simply collected from the past and the present, whereas when visioning the scenarios of the future, you can let your imagination run wild.
Researcher Sanja Riikonen (née Karlsson): Green pharmacy aims to minimise the environmental impacts of drugs during their whole life cycle. Most of the environmental impacts of drugs arise in their normal use. However, attention should be paid to the environmental problems caused by the drug production, as those problems tend to have a local impact affecting the less-developed countries. Finland is about to open the world’s first professorship in sustainable pharmacy.
Post-doctoral researcher Anna Mäkelä: After tackling the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we will, sooner or later, need to face the next respiratory virus. Different solutions have already been developed to improve the general pandemic preparedness, for example a nasal spray aimed to prevent coronavirus infections. The results look promising, even in cases where the spray has been used after being exposed to the virus. The same technology could be utilised to prevent diseases caused by other viruses, like the RS virus, too.
Director Johana Kuncová-Kallio: Nanopulp offers carbon-free solutions for the pharmaceutical industry. Nanopulp helps to promote responsible medical treatment as it is totally plant-based and does not contain any carbon from non-renewable sources. The production process of nanopulp follows ISO standards, and it has proved to be a versatile material that can be utilised in different steps of the patient’s treatment path (e.g. pathological samples processing , injectable drug gels, bio-printable treatments and wound care products).
Professor Sabrina Maniscalco: By using quantum computers and the algorithms developed for them, it is possible to drastically speed up the first step in the drug development process. Normal computers are not able to simulate complex molecules, but new technology offers tremendous potential for simulating their structures. In the first place, this game-changing technology will be applied in cryptology, logistics and material science, but also in biosciences.
Member of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala: The EU has started preparing a new directive on corporate responsibility which should improve the competitiveness of the European companies. The directive aims to encourage the companies to develop appropriate due diligence processes to allow evaluating and eliminating detrimental effects on human rights and the environment all along the value chain. It will be applied to non-EU companies operating in the EU region as well, and it will ensure that those who have suffered human rights violations or environmental damage caused by the violation of environmental legislation will have the possibility to get a compensation and to have access to civil justice in the EU.
ÄLY – Älykästä Lääkehoitoa Yksilöllisesti (smart personalised medicinal treatment)
ÄLY is an event that gathers the actors in Finland within the pharmaceutical industry, health care and health technology together once yearly to discuss smart and personalised medicinal treatment as well as the trends and new insights in this field and its future. Every year this event has attracted hundreds of people interested in the smart and personalised future for the health care. The event brings up new viewpoints, technologies, utopia and ideas in the society from the viewpoint of personalised and modern medicinal treatment.
This year the event was held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the DRA.
ÄLY – Älykästä Lääkehoitoa Yksilöllisesti is DRA Consulting Oy’s registered trademark.