RExPO is back! Our annual conference on Systems Medicine, AI and Drug Repurposing will be celebrating its 3rd edition in Munich, on 3-5 July, co-chaired by: Harald Schmidt, Professor and Chair of Pharmacology at Maastricht University & REPO4EU Project Coordinator; and Jennifer Martin, Chair of Clinical Pharmacology at University of Newcastle in Australia.

With barely a month before the big event, we’ve decided to speak with this year’s co-chairs to hear directly from them what we can expect from RExPO24.

Hi Harald! Tell us, why have we chosen Munich to host RExPO24?

We’re going to Munich this year because it’s a major biotech hub in Europe, with many universities, hospitals and research organizations that are very translationally oriented. This third edition of our annual conference goes head to head with the BayOConnect Forum, an event organized by the Bavarian Biotech Cluster Development (BioM) which will attract a lot of SMEs that are currently translating their research work into patient application. 

We’ve prepared a handover session with them, so when BayOConnect finishes on the 3rd of July they will pass the baton to us to officially kick off RExPO24 on that same afternoon, with a joint session fully dedicated to AI for drug repurposing and precision medicine.


What are some of the main themes we’ll be covering this year?

Our 3-day conference will be mostly dedicated to highlighting the latest research on bioinformatics applied to rare diseases, cancer and neurological diseases, and this year we also have a strong focus on regulatory and reimbursement processes and policies within the field of pharma innovation. I highly recommend people to check the conference agenda and the list of confirmed speakers, because we have many top-notch voices from all over the world!

Everything we’ll be discussing during RExPO24 ties in with a common thread: the application of AI tools to build a mechanistic approach to drug repurposing for the advancement of systems medicine globally. From our side, as a European consortium, we’re also very excited to introduce the first clinical results from REPO4EU, which we will be presenting alongside the features we’ve developed so far for our drug repurposing platform.


Jennifer, you attended RExPO23 in Stockholm as a speaker and now you’re coming back as Co-chair! What caught your attention from last year’s experience that made you excited about co-chairing the conference this year?

What was really exhilarating for me last year was getting to meet so many people from around the globe who were working in different aspects of drug repurposing. I was also very intrigued by the developments and applications of Artificial Intelligence applied to this field, as it’s not an area I’ve had a lot of experience in, so attending RExPO helped me understand the opportunities that AI might bring to this whole platform. And I can see that this year’s program got heaps more of AI, so I’m looking forward to catching up on all the latest developments that have happened since last October.

Also, like Harald mentioned, the reimbursement and regulation aspects are very important too, especially for clinical researchers who really want to get a drug through the repurposing process to be used in the clinical practice. So I’m very happy we’ll be spending some time this year focusing on this too. I’m genuinely super excited about the conference coming up in Munich and co-chairing it with Harald, and I hope to see many known and new faces there!


So, Harald, what can people expect from attending RExPO24? Can you give us a quick summary of what we can look forward to in Munich?

Be ready for 3 days packed with talks! But this is not like your usual medical conference, all our sessions will be very focused and dynamic. We know professors can talk about anything for hours, myself included, but for our conference we’ve asked all our speakers to compress their insights and knowledge into 15-minute presentations. Each session will be followed up by extensive discussion rounds, where the audience will be able to ask questions to the panelists. Apart from the main talks, we will also have brief poster presentations and we’ll be giving out a Young Investigator Award to one of the brilliant young scientists joining us for the conference. 

We will of course have the usual coffee and tea breaks, but this time we will make it more fun! Because the EURO2024 championship is being held at the same time in Germany, we’ve planned a little football competition (soccer for our American and Australian friends) – I don’t want to give out too many details yet, as it will be a nice surprise, but all I’ll say is that you may be able to win the official ball of the European championship…

Overall, you can expect to meet many researchers, professors, scientists, patient advocates and entrepreneurs working at the forefront of global innovations to redefine the way we do medicine, once and for all. So, if you’re working or are interested in novel applications of drug repurposing, this conference is for you!