- IMI 5th Call officially launched
- 5th Call Open Info Day – presentations online
- DIA EuroMeeting a success for IMI
- Roch Doliveux named new Chair of IMI Governing Board
- Michel Goldman in Nature Medicine: PPPs need ‘honest brokering’
- Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics paper on IMI: full version now available
- IMI Scientific Committee welcomes five new members
- Rethink needed on IPR metrics, experts say
- News from the projects
- IMI presentations at forthcoming conferences
IMI 5th Call officially launched
IMI officially launched its 5th Call for proposals on 6 March. The final Call text, as well as details of how to apply, can be found online. The Call Theme, on the creation of a European Lead Factory for drug discovery, comprises two topics:
- European Screening Centre
- Joint European Compound Collection
IMI will contribute up to €80 million to the project. The deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest (EoIs) is 16 May. Anyone wishing to apply for funding is strongly advised to read the Call text and all other documents relating to the Call carefully.
5th Call Open Info Day – presentations online
Some 200 people attended IMI’s 5th Call Open Info Day in Brussels on 27 February. Items on the agenda included IMI’s funding rules and IP policy, how the IMI’s State Representatives Group can help potential applicants and why small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make good project partners. The event also featured a talk on the most common mistakes consortia make when submitting an EoI (the top tip from this presentation was to read the Call text and all other relevant material thoroughly). The day closed with a detailed presentation of the Call topic by the topic coordinator, followed by a questions and answers session. All presentations from the event are available online and videos from the day will be available soon on the IMI YouTube channel.
In addition, over 130 people participated in two webinars on the topic, where the EFPIA topic coordinator repeated the presentation he gave at the Open Info Day and answered questions from participants.
DIA EuroMeeting a success for IMI
IMI reached out to the more than 3 000 attendees of the recent DIA Annual EuroMeeting in Copenhagen, Denmark. IMI’s exhibition stand attracted hundreds of curious visitors, eager to find out more about IMI’s work and how they can get involved in it. IMI also featured heavily in a number of at least five conference sessions, and the many students who attended the event benefitted from advice from IMI’s Education & Training projects, who had their own stand at the exhibition. The event also saw the launch of the new IMI Education & Training project EUPATI (European Patients’ Academy on Therapeutic Innovation). Presentations from some of the IMI speakers will soon be available online.
Michel Goldman in Nature Medicine: PPPs need ‘honest brokering’
For public-private partnerships (PPPs) to work effectively, they need to be managed by a neutral, autonomous organisation acting as an honest broker, argues IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman in the latest issue of Nature Medicine. As examples of how IMI does this in practice, Professor Goldman cites IMI’s role in facilitating consortium agreements and monitoring licence agreements arising from its projects. He concludes: ‘A neutral organizer is key to ensure the sustainability of public-private partnerships and to restore trust in and among the stakeholders committed to the development of innovative therapies.’ The article can be read for free via this link. The free link will be open until 4 July.
Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics paper on IMI: full version now available
The full version of Michel Goldman’s recent article in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics is accessible for free online. In the paper, Professor Goldman highlights IMI’s recent achievements and the growing interest in IMI as a best-practice model for public-private partnerships. The free link will be open until 1 June.
IMI Scientific Committee welcomes five new members
Five of Europe’s top scientists in health research and drug development have joined IMI’s Scientific Committee for the period 2012-2013:
- Karin Forsberg, Professor of Stem Cell Research, Uppsala University, Sweden
- Jens Heisterberg, Chief Medical Officer at the Danish Medicines Agency
- Carole Longson, Executive Director at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
- Françoise Meunier, Director General of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)
- Daniele Piomelli, Director of the Drug Discovery and Development Research Unit at the Italian Institute of Technology
The Scientific Committee provides strategic, science-based recommendations to IMI and advises on the continued relevance of the Research Agenda and the scientific priorities, which form the basis for the Call Topics. Its 15 members are appointed on the basis of suggestions from the States Representatives Group (SRG).
- Find out more about the new Scientific Committee members
Rethink needed on IPR metrics, experts say
Recent years have seen the creation of a number of new, collaborative models for drug discovery that require creative solutions to intellectual property rights (IPR) issues. A recent paper in Science Translational Medicine sets out the IP policies of some of these models (including IMI) and argues that there is an urgent need for new ways of measuring the success of these models.
‘New collaborative models are emerging that have great potential to reduce the transaction costs for sharing of data and reagents,’ the authors state. ‘As these models come on stream, we need to develop a better understanding of the emerging landscape, to understand its deals and structures, its IPR management policies for inputs and outputs, and its licensing agreements. New metrics are needed that are able to capture the enhanced value of collaborative networks as well as milestones along the R&D development pathway, which is now understood to be complex and iterative.’ They conclude: ‘Governments and funders need to support the development of the underlying evidentiary infrastructure and nuanced metrics on which to base innovation policies in an increasingly networked environment.’
- Learn more about IMI’s IP policy
News from the projects
- PharmaCog reaches out to European Parliament
IMI project PharmaCog presented some of its key findings at the European Parliament during a lunch hosted by French parliamentarians Françoise Grossetete and Elisabeth Morin-Chartier. The 40 guests, including 7 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) learnt about how the PharmaCog project is helping to speed up the discovery of drugs for Alzheimer’s disease. PharmaCog is developing new tools to identify potential drugs (and screen out ineffective ones) early in the drug development process. The project is also working on tests to determine how well a drug is working in individual patients, e.g. through brain scans, blood tests, and cognitive testing.
- EMTRAIN holds first PhD workshop
Some 26 students involved public-private partnerships, including IMI projects, took part in the inaugural EMTRAIN PhD workshop in Manchester, UK in February. The aim of the event was to create a forum for the students to share experiences and help them develop as industry-aware scientists. During the four-day workshop, experts from academia and industry provided an insight into the various aspects of industry-driven drug development, the opportunities for public-private partnership, and the relevant European initiatives and accessible European research infrastructures.
- Clinicians want test results fast, RAPP-ID survey shows
The ideal point of care test (POCT) is cheap, easy to use, and delivers highly accurate results in less than half an hour, according to the results of a survey run by IMI project RAPP-ID. POCTs are tests carried out where the patient is being cared for (e.g. at a doctor’s surgery), as opposed to in a central laboratory. Currently, doctors often have to wait days to find out what infections, if any, their patient has. RAPP-ID aims to develop POCTs that deliver more accurate and faster results. The survey also highlighted the pathogens and antibiotic resistance problems that are most relevant for clinicians. The survey results will therefore help the project team to develop a test that meets clinicians’ needs. Elsewhere in the project, the consortium has reviewed the state of the art in diagnostic tools. This, along with the results of the survey, will ensure that the results of the RAPP-ID project will be truly game-changing.
IMI presentations at forthcoming conferences
Below is an overview of some forthcoming events where staff from the IMI Executive Office and other IMI stakeholders will present IMI’s work and achievements.
- Information Session on the Innovative Medicines Initiative 5th Call for Proposals
Gzira, Malta, 2 April 2012
Magali Poinot, IMI Legal Manager, and Hugh Laverty, IMI Scientific Manager, will present IMI’s rules and procedures as well as the 5th Call topics and practical tips on how to apply for funding.
Event organiser’s website
- Innovation in Healthcare without borders
Brussels, Belgium, 16-17 April 2012
Representatives of IMI projects and governance bodies feature in the session on ‘EU research and innovation funding, a tool to remove borders within the EU and beyond’. IMI will also have a stand at the event’s exhibition.
- Open Innovation in Pharmaceutical R&D
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 26 April 2012
During a session entitled ‘External partnerships to increase innovation’, IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman will deliver a case study on IMI’s role as a European response to the innovation challenge in the pharmaceutical sector.
- The European Technology Platforms (ETPs) and Industrial change
Brussels, Belgium, 4 May 2012
Michel Goldman, Executive Director of IMI, will present IMI’s work at this public hearing organised by the European Economic and Social Committee.
- Potential use of biomarkers of inflammation and of early immunological events to assess vaccine safety
Baltimore, US, 11 May 2012
IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman will chair a panel discussion on non-specific immunological effects of vaccines, emphasising the ongoing IMI projects on the safety and impact of vaccines
- 49th European Renal Association – European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA) Congress
Paris, France, 24 May 2012
IMI will hold a special symposium on ‘Drug-induced renal injury: the quest for sensitive biomarkers’ on the opening day.
- 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’.
- HESI (Health and Environmental Sciences Institute) Annual Meeting
Prague, Czech Republic, 13 June 2012
Executive Director Michel Goldman will present IMI’s work during a mini symposium on drug safety issues in Europe.