The EU-funded project AGePOP is working towards training young researchers in understanding drug absorption in geriatric patients and older people.
The advanced age population (>65y) makes up ~20% of the total population in Europe, is the main carrier of chronic diseases and the major end-user group of medications. Yet, despite an ageing society, these end-users are entirely disregarded in the drug development process, which considers only healthy adults aged 18-55y. Effective absorption of oral drugs, which remain the preferred form of administration, relies on a sound knowledge of the physiological alterations associated with ageing and of the characteristics of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in older subjects. Nonetheless, both the knowledge and the experts in this area are lacking.
The AGePOP Innovative Training Network (ITN) will boost Europe’s innovation capacity and leadership in oral drug development. Its multisectoral approach will train 11 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to become the future experts in drug development for the advanced age population, shedding a much needed light on the needs of our ageing society. With an open science philosophy and a multidisciplinary strategy, the ESRs will collect the first ever dataset of physiological characteristics of the GI tract of older people and geriatric patients, developing novel in vitro and in silico tools, e.g. a mobile test kit to evaluate gastric emptying kinetics and an absorption risk calculator to predict adverse effects from altered pharmacokinetics. Complementary training in transferable, business and wider horizon skills will equip the ESRs with an all-rounded skillset. AGePOP is a network of 6 Beneficiaries and 7 Partner Organisations from 5 European countries. Its 3 academic partners with research excellence in oral drug products synergise with renowned clinicians and researchers from 8 leading pharma companies and 1 SME specialised in ETN training. Building on long-standing collaborations, the consortium will provide 11 ESRs with a unique Europe-wide learning experience, preparing them to lead their future careers with confidence and success.
AGePOP Facts and Figures
- AGePOP is a research and training project funded by the European Union
- 6 Beneficiaries and 8 Partner Organisations are involved
- The project starts on 1 January 2021 and ends 31 December 2024
- Budget: 2.8 million euro
- Website: www.agepop.eu
- Email: email@example.com
- Contact: Maria Vertzoni, AGePOP Project Coordinator, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens