Europe has produced some of the most important recent findings on allergy and asthma, but research tends to be fragmented in different institutes, and even departments of the same institution. Findings are not always shared nor rapidly translated into changes in practice. A “network of excellence” can help strengthen the impact of Europe's research by stimulating interaction between different teams and by communicating information beyond the research community to doctors, patients, policy makers and industry.

GA²LEN, Global Allergy and Asthma European Network, is a project funded by the EU under the Sixth Framework Programme for Research.

Its objectives in Allergy and Asthma are:

Enhance the quality and relevance of research and address all aspects of the disease
Create a permanent and durable structure that will maximize the scientific contribution of Europe to this area
Accelerate the application of research results to clinical practice, patients' needs and policy development
Promote training and integration between the public and private sectors
Eventually decrease the burden of allergy and asthma throughout Europe

Sixteen European countries are participating in GA2LEN with with 25 scientific partners, selected for their scientific excellence, with evidences of multidisciplinary working, training and educational activities and international collaboration. EAACI, European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology is currently a major partner of GA2LEN.

GA²LEN in practice

For scientists
Nine topics were selected for research: nutrition, infection, occu-Nine topics were selected for research: nutrition, infection, occupation, pollution, gender, IgE sensitisation, airway remodelling, clinical care, and genetics. New networks for larger scale studies in the field of allergy and asthma are being developed. Scientists will also benefit from the bio-, gene- and docu-banks that are established, programmes for mobility and exchanges as well as a platform for communication.

For junior researchers
GA2LEN promote the development of a high-level, large scale, international and multidisciplinary scientific community. Training courses, mobility grants, e-learning facilities and website for junior scientists support the clinical or research activities of the young researchers.

For health care professionals
The target groups are chest physicians, allergists, paediatricians,ENT specialists and those in other allergy-related medical or paramedical specialities. A common, European system for ensuring quality in scientific research, clinical care, training and education is proposed.

Provision for patients, public and policy makers
GA2LEN adapts, translates and disseminates on a regular basis
evidence-based prevention guidelines.

The GA²LEN News

The GA²LEN Annual Conference 2012 - moving towards improved definitions of outcome parameters for clinical studies

This year's conference focused on the current situation in the development and implementation of clinical studies on rare allergies in particular, as well as possibilities for improvement in this area. "In the study of allergies, we find many rare sub-forms of allergies as well as rare allergens", says Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h. c. Torsten Zuberbier, Secretary General of GA²LEN. "Because they are so rare, gathering information on these allergies through medical studies can be very challenging. The available treatment options often do not adequately address these small groups", continues Zuberbier. "The conference is intended to bring us a significant step further in the development of relevant clinical studies. We want to make progress in the treatment of rare allergies." One emphasis of the conference was the development of an improved definition of outcome parameters for clinical studies.

The parameters should also be able to take into account individual results from allergy sub-phenotypes. Leading experts from research and academics, representatives of the EMA (European Medicines Agency), patient organisations and industry representatives discussed the possibilities for improvement in clinical studies. The international guest speakers included Prof. Guido Rasi, Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA); Lars Jacobsen, European Allergen Manufacturers Group (EMG); Prof. Sergio Bonini, CNR Rome; Prof. Bruce Zuraw, University of San Diego and Dr. Anna Simon, Raboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre.

more details at

Last updated 02 December 2014