Biotechnology policies

OECD Expert Workshop on Policy Issues for the Development and Use of Biomarkers in Health, 6-7 October 2008


Hinxton, United Kingdom, 6-7 October 2008


Background documents


Agenda and presentations


6 OCTOBER 2008
Chairman: Serdar SAVAS, CEO, Genomics for Life, Turkey

Welcome and introduction : OECD Secretariat


This session introduced what biomarkers are and why they are so important for patient care improvement. The discussion focussed on what makes research on biomarkers today substantially different from the past; what this departure means in terms of scientific and clinical opportunities; and what policy issues it raises for governments.  
Introduction to Biomarkers Policy Challenges and Workshop sessions: OECD Secretariat

Evaluation and Regulation of Biomarkers – A Public Health Perspective : Ron ZIMMERN, Executive Director, PHG Foundation, United Kingdom




This session described why biomarker knowledge integration and sharing is necessary and what are some of the main difficulties associated with doing so.  It identified different approaches for improving integration and sharing of data (for examples industry incentives to stimulate data sharing, systems or databases that provide access to knowledge for the public, computer storage). It raised the question of whether governments should be involved in promoting the sharing, access and/or use of biomarker data and if so how.  It presented thoughts on how to generate useful and relevant data that will allow an evidence-base decision making that is fundamental to biomarker evaluation.


Perspectives based on the analytical papers - The Vision of IndustryDavid POLVERARI, Technical Director, Atragène, France

Creating an Evidence-basePeter FURNESS, Vice President, RCPath, United Kingdom 

Panel questions and discussion with the audience
 David POLVERARI, Technical Director, Atragène, France
 Noboru YUMOTO, Vice-President, AIST board of trustees, Japan
 Peter FURNESS, Vice President, RCPath, United Kingdom


This session did elucidate why a crucial challenge for biomarker development is the evaluation of biomarkers for clinical use. It addressed the central questions of clinical evaluation: what are the different levels of validation; how should government treat the discovery of new biomarkers, new therapeutic targets and medical tests and; are there efficient systems of validation in place already?  The objective was to give governments a clearer sense of how to approach the discovery of new biomarkers, therapeutic targets and medical tests at a national and international level.


Perspectives based on the analytical paper: Ralph COATES, Associate Director for Science, Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention, CDC Atlanta, United States

Panel questions and discussion with the audience
Anne MARQUET, Exploratory Medicine Science and Operations Manager, Merck Serono International
Chris PRICE, Visiting Professor in Clinical Biochemistry at the University of  Oxford, United Kingdom
Ralph COATES, Associate Director for Science, Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention, CDC Atlanta, United States 

7 OCTOBER 2008



This session focussed on some of the regulatory policy issues that arise from the accelerated development of biomarkers.  There appears to be consensus that some form of regulatory control over and above what is presently available is likely to be needed, but the extent to which this should be carried out within a statutory framework (and the form of any extra-statutory controls) is a matter of debate and controversy.  The pros and cons of statutory regulation was discussed as well as options for extra-statutory mechanisms of control.  The risk stratification of biomarkers within the regulatory framework has also been much discussed, but exactly what we mean by 'risk' in this context and how the concept of 'safety' is to be conceptualised are policy issues that need further exploration. Governments should start to give this subject higher priority in their deliberations on health and innovation policy.


Perspectives based on the Analytical paper:   Ron ZIMMERN, Executive Director, PHG Foundation, United Kingdom

Panel questions and discussion with the audience
Susanne LUDGATE, Medical Director of MHRA, United Kingdom
Ron ZIMMERN, Executive Director, PHG foundation, United Kingdom



This session discussed how industry is reacting and contributing to biomarker development.  How are firms using biomarkers in drug and medical tests development? Are there different industry approaches?  What are company hopes and what are the challenges they face? The session also asked what actions by governments could influence biomarker development and use by industry.


Perspectives based on the analytical paperArsia AMIR-ASLANI, Managing Director, Araxes Associates, France

Panel questions and discussion with the audience
Arsia AMIR-ASLANI, Managing Director, Araxes Associates, France
Laszlo TAKÁCS, General Director, Biosystem International, France
Chris CHAMBERLAIN, Biomarker Expert (Inflammation), Pharma Development,  Roche Products, United Kingdom



In this session participants reviewed the policy recommendations made in earlier sessions about what governments can do to facilitate the development of biomarkers for research, industrial use (medical testing and drug development), and for health care sector uptake. The OECD Secretariat outlined some possible options for future work and ask participants for their opinions and recommendations.


Presentations of options for future work: OECD Secretariat


Related Documents


Biomarkers and Targeted Therapies


Countries list

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Guernsey
  • Jersey
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Venezuela
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • Chinese Taipei^Taipei
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • European Union
  • Faeroe Islands
  • Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Iran
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau (China)
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Authority
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • China (People’s Republic of)
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Bolivia
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Moldova
  • Congo
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Serbia and Montenegro (pre-June 2006)
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • Tanzania
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Viet Nam
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Curaçao
  • Bonaire
  • Saba