On Tuesday 12th December 2023, the first year of DEBRA International's inaugural Roundtable of Companies (DIRC) culminated in the first in-person group meeting in London, UK at Park Plaza Waterloo. It was attended by URGO Medical, Chiesi Farmaceutici, and MedTech Solutions Group as well as representatives from DEBRA France, Austria, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy and the UK.
The Roundtable of Companies meeting began with DEBRA International and other attending DEBRA groups sharing summaries of their organisations, their previous achievements, and goals moving forward. DEBRA International highlighted the overall mission to empower people with EB and all EB stakeholders with the knowledge and tools to better the lives of those with EB worldwide, and shared notable moments from the last year and 2022, which support their four main goals: member capacity building, education, research, and advocacy. They also shared details about future programmes and plans, such as enhancing the organisation's capacity specifically in fundraising resources and management, supporting the Youth Council, relaunching the annual member profile survey, facilitating regional and international get togethers, expanding humanitarian response, and more.
Following DEBRA International, the Roundtable of Companies partners shared a brief history of their company, and how they are working to address EB. Topics included the latest advancements in gene therapy, regenerative medicine, and pain management for EB patients.
All organisations’ achievements were related to working well as teams or communities, whether inside one organisation, across patient organisations, or across sectors. It became clear that great things are being done by each organisation, but to reach and achieve worldwide goals, good partnerships are essential moving forward. This level of collaboration and open communication between industry leaders has the potential to accelerate progress in the research and development of effective treatments for EB.
The meeting concluded with a call to action for all companies to continue working together and supporting DEBRA International's mission. Overall, the first group meeting of the Roundtable of Companies was a resounding success, bringing together different DEBRA groups, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device companies to share knowledge, ideas, and resources for the benefit of those living with this condition.
Further Roundtable of Companies events that have taken place this year include:
One-on-one bilateral meetings with each company earlier in 2023 to learn more about each other’s organisations, and possible synergies for both company and DEBRA International.
The DEBRA International and GlobalSkin symposium in July 2023 where clinical, research, and industry updates focused on EB and successful collaborations with DEBRAs, as well as building impactful patient organisations through supportive partnerships.
A special thank you to URGO Medical, Chiesi Farmaceutici, MedTech Solutions/Ferris Mfg for being inaugural members, and the contribution and commitment to DEBRA International and EB. Thank you to all of the attendees for their time and contributions which made it such a success. DEBRA International looks forward to hosting more Roundtable of Companies meetings in the future and continuing to drive progress and change for the EB community.
The DEBRA International Roundtable of Companies (DIRC) is DEBRA International’s primary means of engaging and building long-term partnerships with companies that have an impact on the lives of people with EB.
By joining the DIRC, companies support the global mission of DEBRA International and build a relationship wherein DEBRA International learns from corporate partners and vice-versa by participating in interactive meetings. Find out more here.