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address all of the challenges, including clinical tests and the challenge

of micro-organisms in medicine.”

A combination of scientific progress, changing regulations and

breakthrough technology could mean real benefits could be brought to

patients suffering with deep bone infections very soon. Such progress

encapsulates the advances made by Horizon 2020 from FP7, and the

advantages of EU-funded research.

right; you have to make sure that you are not

exposing the business to risk by making a

claim that could be misinterpreted.

“The product is near to market and the

barriers now are not so much technical and

scientific, but more about manufacturing,

scale-up and regulatory compliance.”

Horizon 2020

One of the main goals of the EU’s research and

innovation framework programme is to bring

more products to market. Hatton provided his

viewpoint on the current situation and the

importance of European science investment.

“The shift in emphasis in Europe has been

towards putting a dividing line between basic

and translational research, which, in the field of

medicine, is really meant to be moving towards

the clinic. It would be good to see the

connections between basic and translational

science kept intact, but the UK has had the

trend to separate them – the research councils

do the basic research, whilst Innovate UK does

the translational research.

“For a long time in Europe, the EU has tended

to focus on the translational aspect, yet with the

creation of the European Research Council,

there has been a kind of separation. I quite like

the fact that basic science then led to

translational targets, or translational research

was rooted in basic science, yet such aspects

were cut as we transplanted the research beast

into the translational.

“It would be good to try to re-cement the

relationship between basic and translational

research – they do not belong in separate pots.

I am a huge fan of European research and the

long term focus of doing useful research which

has strategic value at the European level.

“It would be great to see a call around new

strategies for antimicrobial therapies in

Horizon 2020. This would not be very new and

Europe has been visiting this challenge for

some time; in many ways the research we are

doing now can be shown to be one of many

examples of where technologies are reaching

a point of maturity, and we can start to use it

for patient benefit. It is also essential that we

continue with European programmes that

Professor Paul Hatton

University of Sheffield

B R OW S E

www.sheffield.ac.uk

H O R I Z O N

2 0 2 0

www.horizon2020projects.com

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

I S S U E S E V E N

143

S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : H E A L T H & W E L L B E I N G

Orthopaedic go-ahead

In March, the European Commission approved the proposed

acquisition of Biomet Inc by Zimmer Holdings Inc, both of the

United States. Both companies produce orthopaedic implants and

related surgical products. The approval is conditional upon a

commitments package submitted by Zimmer. The Commission had

concerns that the merger could have resulted in price increases for

a number of orthopaedic implants in the European Economic Area.

The commitments offered by Zimmer remove these concerns.

Commenting, Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for

Competition, said: “Orthopaedic implants affect the mobility and

quality of life of thousands of people across Europe. The remedies

obtained by the Commission will ensure that patients continue to

benefit from sufficient choice and innovation, and that healthcare

providers enjoy competitive prices.”

The Commission raised concerns regarding competition in

particular national markets for partial (unicondylar) knee implants,

elbow implants and total knee implants. The EU institution says that

the merged entity would have faced insufficient competitive

constraint from the remaining, smaller players. In addition, barriers

to entry are relatively high, thus the merger would have led to less

innovation and choice, as well as to price increases for the

products concerned.

To address concerns, Zimmer offered to divest the Zimmer

Unicondylar Knee implant and Biomet’s Discovery Elbow, across the

EEA, and the Biomet Vanguard total Knee system for primary and

revision implants in Denmark and Sweden. In addition, Zimmer

committed to grant the purchaser of the Vanguard knee in

Denmark and Sweden an EEA-wide, non-exclusive licence to the

rights and knowhow that are currently used and are needed for the

manufacturing, marketing and sale of an exact copy of the

Vanguard Knee.