Innovation through collaboration

Start Date 29/08/2013

The role of public-private partnerships in translational medicine

About the session

IMI held a scientific symposium, entitled 'Innovation through collaboration' at the 11th Congress of the European Association for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (EACPT 2013) in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday 29 August 2013.

The session was co-chaired by former IMI Scientific Committee member Professor Adam Vas (Senior Research Adviser, Gedeon Richter Plc, Hungary) and Dr Elisabetta Vaudano of the IMI Executive Office and focused on the role of public-private partnerships in translational medicine and was attended by around 70 delegates. 

Elisabetta Vaudano, Principal Scientific Manager & Coordinator of the Scientific Pillar at IMI, made the first presentation providing a brief overview on IMI and an introduction to the scope and public private context of the three IMI initiatives presented by the other 3 speakers: the EU-AIMS project, the IMI Diabetes Platform and the ND4BB projects.

Will Spooren, Head of Behavioural Pharmacology and Preclinical Imaging, Hoffmann-La Roche and coordinator of EU-AIMS, provided an overview of the new models being developed to tackle autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). ASD affects effects one child in 110, yet there are currently no drugs designed specifically to treat their main symptoms. EU-AIMS  brings together Europe’s top ASD researchers from academia, the pharmaceutical industry and patients’ organisations in order to get novel ASD drugs to the market and the patient.

Bernd Jablonka, External Alliances, Diabetes Division, Sanofi–Aventis, presented IMI’s three ongoing projects working to tackle the multiple challenges of developing better treatments for patients with diabetes and its complications. The IMI Diabetes Platform includes the projects SUMMIT DIRECT and imidia who are collaborating to find ways to slow down the progress of diabetes once diagnosed, to address the lack of treatments for the complications of diabetes, and personalise future diabetes care for patients.

Seamus O’Brien, Therapeutic Area Clinical Director, Infection Global Medicines Unit, AstraZeneca explained IMI’s response to the urgent need to find new and effective antibiotics. IMI’s projects Translocation and COMBACTE-CARE,  COMBACTE-MAGNETCOMBACTE-NET are the first to begin work on tackling the urgent problem of antimicrobial resistance. IMI’s programme for research on antimicrobial resistance, New drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB) aims to improve the efficiency of research and development of new antibiotics by tackling the scientific, regulatory and business challenges of antibiotic development, and sharing knowledge in an unprecedented way.

The Symposium finished with a short Q&A session which focused on how IMI is improving pharmaceutical R&D, on the importance of translational pharmacology and on the concept of pre-competitive versus non-competitive research (this especially in relationship with the clinical trials run by the ND4BB platform).