The Federal Government has agreed to slash the waiting time for clinical trials on vaccines and new medicinal drugs, the Office of Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès announced on Saturday in a press release.
The decision was taken at a Thursday-evening meeting between government representatives and heads of pharmaceutical companies present in Belgium, as well as industry representatives. The various parties said they had decided “to step up their efforts in the fight against Covid-19.”
“Clinical trials on vaccines and new drugs can now be launched four days after the request is made to the Federal Agency for Medicinal Drugs and Health Products, AFMPS, whereas the current waiting period is two weeks to a month,” the Office of the Prime Minister said.
Pharma.be, the Belgian pharmaceutical industry association, welcomed the decision. CEO Catherine Rutten said it was in line with “the policy followed in the past few years in which major efforts have been made to promote Belgium as a high place of clinical pharmaceutical research.”
“We need to tap into all the talent and skills in our country in the pharmaceutical field because all forces are necessary in this fight against the Coronavirus,” the Prime Minister commented.
The Government has also confirmed its intention to create in Belgium a unit for the fight against infectious diseases that is unique in Europe.
“It will allow for the conduct of Phase 1 clinical trials and human-challenge clinical studies in an optimum environment, thus speeding up the research around Covid-19” and “will be funded through a public-private partnership to the sum of 40 million euros,” the Office of the Prime Minister explained.