The Executive Committee (ExCom) members of PREMIER, formed by the Work Package (WP) Leads, met with the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) for the first time in a virtual setting.
It was a very dynamic meeting with various break-out sessions where smaller groups of ExCom and SAB were able to get to know each other as well as the PREMIER project.
Short recordings by the WP leads introducing their WP were shared with the SAB members in advance in order for them to get familiarised with the project and make the most of the Kick-off Meeting. This means that the SAB members came to the meeting with some knowledge about PREMIER, which was very helpful to start creating very insightful conversations about the objectives, methodologies and challenges of this IMI-funded European project.
Among these discussions it was highlighted that one of the big challenges of PREMIER will be how to identify and address secondary/side effects of pharmaceuticals, particularly in invertebrates and algae and how PREMIER could address some current gaps in the field such as the differences between predicted and measured endpoints.
Value was given to the database and digital assessment system (DAS) that the PREMIER consortium is building. This database and digital tool would help the environmental scientific community, regulators, policy makers and pharma companies accessing a centralised and transparent platform for characterising the environmental risks of medicines. SAB members advised the PREMIER leads to consider transparency measures as well as quality assessment of the data inputted into the database, and make this information publicly available so users of the database can track and trust the data provenance.
The SAB acknowledged the importance of the stakeholders interviews and workshops planned as part of our project to capture the views of potential users of the PREMIER products. A holistic approach was advised to be taken into consideration in order to capture the views of regulators, academics, policy-makers, etc. and also to allow the inclusion of further substances not currently covered in our database, but which could contribute to expand it in the future.
The SAB is formed by world-leading experts in the fields of aquatic and soil ecotoxicology, environmental risk assessment of pharmaceuticals, cheminformatics and software engineering, water quality, green pharmacy, fish physiology and European Law. In PREMIER we are confident the SAB will contribute with their invaluable strategic and scientific advice in order to archive the goals outlined in this project while ensuring scientific excellence and maximising the impact of PREMIER to the society as a whole. We look forward to meeting them again soon!