ABC is already evaluating drugs at the request of the European Medicines Agency

After the contract was signed, worth 5 million euros, the work has already started

Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação

The Algarve Biomedical Center (ABC) is already carrying out pre-clinical trials of three drugs, at the request of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). It is the first time that a Portuguese entity will carry out this work of evaluating the efficacy or safety of drugs, which, in addition to «being an honor, is also a responsibility». 

The first step towards this point was taken in September when ABC learned that it had been one of the winners of a call of EMA.

“We saw this competition, open worldwide, for tests on European Medicines Agency drugs. We competed and managed to be selected, including getting first place», says, with pride, Nuno Marques, president of ABC, in a conversation with the Sul Informação. 

After the contract was signed, worth 5 million euros, work has already started, with three drugs to be tested by ABC.

“What we are going to do, over the course of five years, are tests in terms of efficacy and safety at a pre-clinical level. This is a more laboratory stage. We will receive the drugs, evaluate them in the light of the doubt they send us and then we will always give the answer to the EMA», he explains.

Through the ABC laboratories, at the University of Algarve, they will be able to pass pills, capsules, injectable pills, biological pills and even vaccines.

“This assessment is fundamental to exist in global terms: it is a capacity for response and assessment. EMA will thus be able to have 10 laboratories – we were first in the competition and we are the only one in the country – to receive the products and answer that specific question», says Nuno Marques.



ABC Laboratory - Photo: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação

And to what more owes this success of ABC?

For its director, the European Medicines Agency saw in this consortium, which brings together the University of Algarve and the University Hospital Center of the Algarve, the «capacity to respond to what is desired and a very diverse team».

“EMA referred to the excellent quality of the researchers we have, as well as the excellent ability to work together”, reports Nuno Marques.

In total, there will be around 40 people working on these assessments, and ABC has also contacted other areas of UAlg to provide whatever needed input.

«We know very well what is done at the University and we have no problem in getting the know-how from other organic units, other research centers», adds Nuno Marques.

For ABC, this achievement rhymes with responsibility.

“It's another source of pride for ABC and it's due to the ability of our researchers. In Portugal, we have excellent researchers: what is needed is the conditions. We have the great raw material, which is your brain. What we have done this year and a half was to provide researchers with capacity, such as equipment, for example, so that they can be at ease in the development of their activity», he concludes.