Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


CMRI joins initiative welcomed by the European Commission

DigiTwins is a large research initiative that aims to revolutionise healthcare and biomedical research and recently received an invitation from the European Commission to enter the next stage of the competition to become an EU Flagship for Future and Emerging Technologies.

“Today we’re a significant step closer to the establishment of a system of truly personalized healthcare,” said Prof. Hans Lehrach, who leads the initiative.

The next step will be submission of the full proposal to the EC in September.

“We’re well prepared for the next stage of the competition, but the next three months will be marked by intensive efforts together with all partners and stakeholders, to create a convincing application,” said Dr. Nora Benhabiles, Co-Coordinator of the initiative.

Since its foundation, DigiTwins has grown from an innovative idea to an initiative with more than 200 partners in 32 countries and first applications of its concept in real-life trials.

“Children’s Medical Research Institute was invited to join DigiTwins because of our ProCan® project,” said CMRI’s Director, Roger Reddel.

“ProCan is already developing high-throughput, big data approaches to personalised cancer diagnosis and treatment, and it’s clear that both DigiTwins and ProCan will benefit from this collaboration.”

In February, the DigiTwins initiative submitted a first proposal to the EC and thus took the first step, of a three-stage process, towards becoming an EU Flagship for Future and Emerging Technologies (FET).

Stage two, in which a full proposal for a candidate FET-Flagship is submitted, will kick-start with a DigiTwins partner meeting in Berlin at the end of this month. If successful, DigiTwins would be financially supported by the EC over a one-year period to prepare for stage three: the final selection of the FET-Flagships. FET-Flagships are science- and technology-driven, large-scale, multidisciplinary research initiatives built around a visionary unifying goal that are promoted and financed by the European Commission under its Research and Innovation Program Horizon over ten years.

DigiTwins’ aim is to create a personal ‘Digital Twin’ for every patient. This Twin is an accurate computer model of the key biological processes within an individual that is keeping them healthy or leading to disease, and it will be used to identify individually optimal therapies as well as preventive and lifestyle measures, without exposing individuals to unnecessary risks and healthcare systems to unnecessary costs.
About DigiTwins:
DigiTwins is a large research initiative that aims at establishing a personal Digital Twin for every European citizen. The community consists of more than 200 partners from industry, academic and clinical research institutions in 32 different countries. DigiTwins combines a transdisciplinary team of visionary scientists, clinicians, public health experts, policy makers, medical informatics experts, experts in Artificial Intelligence, experienced science management professionals, serial entrepreneurs, industry researchers and patient group representatives as well as experts from cross-cutting fields, such as economics, regulation, ethics, health insurance, data security and privacy. The initiative is led by Prof. Hans Lehrach (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin), Dr. Nora Benhabiles (CEA - French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) and Dr. Rolf Zettl (BIH - Berlin Institute of Health). Are you excited about the idea of revolutionizing healthcare? Interested parties are invited to join the DigiTwins