5th Call Open Info Day – Save the date!
IMI will hold an Open Info Day on its 5th Call for proposals on Monday 27 February at the Crowne Plaza – Le Palace Hotel in Brussels, Belgium. Participants will benefit from information and tips on the IMI Call procedures, while a topic workshop will give participants the opportunity to interact directly with the topic coordinators and to learn more about the 5th Call topic "Joint European compound library and screening centre". There will also be plenty of time for networking, and participants will be able to find potential partners and arrange meetings via an online networking tool. Participation in the Info Day is free, and registration will open soon.
- For more information and draft agenda, visit the event web page
- Find out more about the 5th Call topic
IMI publishes Financial Guidelines
IMI’s Financial Guidelines are now available online. The guidelines clarify the provisions of the IMI model grant agreement, which was updated in November 2011 and improves financial conditions and simplifies rules for project participants. As such, the guidelines should prove useful both during the preparation of the project and once the project is under way. The document has three parts; the first sets out the general principles applicable to all participants (beneficiaries, EFPIA companies and their affiliates, and any other participants); the second focuses on specific provisions only applicable to the beneficiaries; and the third highlights specific provisions only applicable to EFPIA companies (including their affiliates).
Antimicrobial resistance indicative topic – outline now available
An outline of the proposed IMI Call topic on antimicrobial resistance is now available on the Future Topics page of the IMI website. Dubbed ‘NewDrugs4BadBugs’ (ND4BB), the topic focuses on the discovery and development of antibacterial agents targeting drug-resistant priority pathogens. Among other things, ND4BB aims to boost collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and expertise across the antimicrobial research community. "A framework for sharing knowledge and resources across companies, SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] and academia is needed to increase the success of antibiotic R&D [research and development]," the outline reads.
IMI sparks interest in broader innovation community
IMI’s success at boosting innovation in the pharmaceutical sector has not gone unnoticed by innovation experts. A recent article by keen innovation blogger Paul Hobcraft on the Innovation Excellence site highlights IMI’s successes. "Without doubt this is one of the most highly ambitious and bold initiatives I’ve come across," Hobcraft writes. "This is a seismic undertaking that could have a profound impact on how we view collaborative innovation and what it attempts to tackle on the scale needed for many challenges we face. We can learn an awful lot from studying this initiative." The item has attracted considerable interest and a follow-up article is now in the pipeline.
IMI at DIA
IMI will have a strong presence at the forthcoming DIA (Drug Information Association) EuroMeeting in Copenhagen, Denmark from 26 to 28 March. The event will feature a session entitled ‘IMI - does the European public-private partnership programme stimulate innovation?’ This will be chaired by Executive Director Michel Goldman and feature high level speakers from the European Commission and EFPIA as well as scientists from IMI projects. Michel Goldman will also chair another session on "Translational medicine: a global perspective".
- Visit the event website
News from the projects
- QuiC-ConCePT scans for new ways of testing cancer treatment efficacy
Scientific progress in cancer research has substantially increased our understanding of the molecular biology of cancer, paving the way to novel treatments. However, new tools to rapidly and reliably demonstrate the efficacy of novel cancer drugs are lacking. A new paper by scientists from IMI project QuiC-ConCePT discusses how magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be used to assess the efficacy of new drugs. MRI scans are able to highlight differences in the way water moves in different tissues by detecting something called the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). This is important because the ADC of healthy tissues is different to that of cancerous tissues. Furthermore, studies have shown that the ADC of cancer cells rises sharply when the cells are killed, for example by chemotherapy. This means that ADC could potentially be used to assess whether a treatment has worked or not. However, more studies are needed before ADC can be used in studies to test the efficacy of new treatments. Writing in the European Journal of Cancer, QuiC-ConCePT scientists set out a roadmap highlighting the steps needed before ADC can be used in drug development.
- OECD report spotlights IMI projects
IMI projects EMTRAIN and EUPATI (European Patients' Academy on Therapeutic Innovation) are mentioned in a new report on facilitating international cooperation in non-commercial clinical trials. The report, by a working group of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Global Science Forum, sets out recommendations to overcome the main barriers facing the international clinical research community in setting up international clinical trials. Among other things, the report highlights the need to improve education and training support as well as the infrastructure framework in clinical research, and to enhance the involvement of patients in trials. EMTRAIN is mentioned in the section on infrastructure support, while EUPATI (which will start soon and is funded under IMI’s 3rd Call for proposals) is highlighted in the section on patient involvement.
- Cell Metabolism paper picks out IMI diabetes project
An article in Cell Metabolism on the urgent need to develop novel treatments for diabetes and obesity highlights the IMI project IMIDIA as the way forward. "Future success requires a closer relationship between industry and academia as well as active knowledge sharing between research groups through multiparty partnerships and consortia," the paper reads. "The Innovative Medicines Initiative for Diabetes is an excellent example." The paper also underscores the need for more personalised medicine in diabetes; this will be addressed in the IMI project DIRECT, which will be launched shortly.
IMI presentations at forthcoming conferences
Below is an overview of some forthcoming events where staff from the IMI Executive Office will present IMI’s work and achievements.
- 6th Charles River European Short Course on Laboratory Animals
Brussels, Belgium, 9 February 2012
IMI Principal Scientific Manager Maria Teresa De Magistris will give a presentation on IMI.
Event website: http://www.criver.com/en-US/NewsEvents/CourseSeminar/Pages/European_Short_Course.aspx
- EORTC celebrating 50 years of progress against cancer
Brussels, Belgium, 6 March 2012
IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman will give a presentation on IMI and cancer research during a session on ‘integrating biology in novel clinical trials’.
Event website: http://www.eortc.org/50anniversary/
- Europharm SMC 10th International Partnering Meeting
Barcelona, Spain, 8 March 2012
IMI Senior Scientific Manager Hugh Laverty will give a lecture entitled ‘Incremental Research for SMEs – Critical Success Factors’ during the opening session of the event.
Event website: http://europharmsmc.org/default.asp?SHORTCUT=155
- DIA (Drug Information Association) EuroMeeting
Copenhagen, Denmark, 26-28 March 2012
DIA will feature a number of sessions on IMI and/or featuring speakers from IMI governance bodies and projects.
Event website: http://www.diahome.org/DIAHome/FlagshipMeetings/home.aspx?meetingid=25205
- Societal Impact of Pain 2012
Copenhagen, Denmark, 30 May 2012
IMI Principal Scientific Manager Elisabetta Vaudano will give a presentation during a workshop entitled ‘Benchmarking, education and research programmes on Pain management in the European Union’.
Event website: http://www.efic.org/index.asp?sub=0qvOVD192JaRkW