Conclusies van het Forum









Dear all,


The Deloitte study has learned us that the leading position of Belgium in Europe in clinical trials is confirmed, and has remained stable with a strong footprint of early phase clinical studies and an impressive expertise in cancer research. In the perspective on the European Clinical trial regulation, the government has taken a series of measures to support clinical trials in Belgium. The best examples are the new law on clinical trials which maintains short delays for phase 1 studies, and the set-up of pilot projects to test this new evaluation system.

But, nevertheless, pharmaceutical companies and investigators keep emphasizing the challenges that we are facing in terms of patient recruitment, possibly also linked to a lack of incentives for physicians, site management, and the set-up of trials which all need to be addressed to safeguard the allocation of clinical trials to Belgian site.

It remains very important to create awareness about clinical trials among the general public, but certainly also among healthcare professionals. There is indeed a need to have consolidated, centralized, understandable information about the clinical trials ongoing in Belgium. We heard about the initiatives of the Medicines Agency – such as the trials database - which are of course welcomed a lot, but more is needed. For that, the public-private partnership model between hospitals and industry developed in Denmark is inspirational because of the facilitating role it plays in the public debate about clinical trials, together with patient organisations but, the help it provides with the start-up of clinical trials is also an eye-opener, such as the one-stop-shop for pharma industry and researchers, and the feasibility support and all this thanks to a strong political commitment with their “Growth Plan for Life Sciences”.

But the most important take home message today is that clinical trials in Belgium will most benefit from a continued and intensified collaboration between authorities and government, investigators and academics, patient organisations, and pharmaceutical industry.

Thanks to this collaboration and mutual understanding we can further improve the eco-system for clinical trials.

I would like to adress a special thank to the members of our debate pannel :

  • Anita Van Herck: Public relation Borstkanker Vlaanderen
  • Professor Bertrand Tombal – President of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer. Head of the Urology Department of Saint Luc University Clinics, Brussels. Member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium
  • Professor Pierre Van Damme - Full professor at the University of Antwerp, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Chairman of the Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute (VAXINFECTIO)
  • Stefaan Nollet : System Expert at Sanofi-Aventis

Thank you,

Kristel De Gauquier

Medical Director