- IMI launches €223.7 million antibiotic resistance programme
- 7th Call for proposals coming soon
- Sign up for the 7th Call webinars
- Further forthcoming Call titles announced
- 3rd Call projects all launched
- Update on IMI’s 4th and 5th Calls for proposals
- Stakeholder Forum a success
- European Commission launches €2 million vaccine prize
- News from the projects
- IMI presentations at forthcoming conferences
IMI launches €223.7 million antibiotic resistance programme
IMI officially launched its Call for proposals on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on 24 May 2012, marking the start of a major programme on this important subject. The initial Call for proposals focuses on creating networks of researchers, facilitating the exchange of research data, and improving the efficiency of clinical trials. In addition, new methods will be explored to improve antibiotic uptake by certain resistant bacterial pathogens. The deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest is 9 July 2012. Further Calls for proposals will be released throughout 2012 and 2013. Keep an eye on IMI’s Future Topics page for updates. Meanwhile this 6th Call has generated considerable media interest, with articles in Nature, the Lancet, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and many more.
- Visit the 6th Call – Stage 1 web page
- Read the press release
- View the presentations and video from the AMR workshop at the IMI Stakeholder Forum
- Read the World Health Organization (WHO) report The evolving threat of antimicrobial resistance: Options for action
7th Call for proposals coming soon
In the coming weeks, IMI plans to launch its 7th Call for proposals; currently two topics are under consideration for inclusion in the Call:
- Building a sustainable framework for rapid assessment of vaccination impact in Europe
- New approaches to effectiveness research
Outlines of the texts of these topics are now available on the Future Topics page.
Sign up for the 7th Call webinars
IMI will hold webinars on the 7th Call topics at the following dates and times:
10:30 CEST, Thursday 12 July
10:30 CEST, Tuesday 17 July
Effectiveness research: dates and times to be confirmed: check the Events page for updates.
During the webinars, the EFPIA coordinators will present the topic in detail and there will be time for questions and answers. The webinars therefore represent an excellent opportunity to learn more about the topics and interact directly with the topic coordinators. Registration for the webinars is free but obligatory.
- Sign up to the vaccination webinars here
- View videos of a workshop on the 7th Call topics at the Stakeholder Forum on IMI’s YouTube Channel
Further forthcoming Call titles announced
IMI has released information on the topics under consideration for its 8th and 9th Calls for proposals. The 8th Call, which is scheduled for launch in September, will feature Topic 1C of Topic 1 (Innovative Trial Design & Clinical Development) of IMI’s new programme on combating antimicrobial resistance. Topics 1A and 1B were launched in IMI’s 6th Call for proposals.
Meanwhile, themes under consideration for inclusion in IMI’s 9th Call for proposals are:
- Combination therapy development
- Taxonomy of human diseases
- Web-based data mining for medical insights
- Comprehensive induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells strategy for Europe
All information regarding future Calls is indicative and subject to change. All potential applicants are advised to visit the website regularly to get the latest updates on the progress of forthcoming Calls for proposals.
3rd Call projects all launched
All seven projects from IMI’s 3rd Call for proposals are now up and running. The projects, which have a combined total cost of €215 million, are taking on some of the biggest challenges in healthcare research. Some of the new projects aim to speed up the search for more effective treatments for certain diseases and conditions that are currently difficult to manage. Examples include PreDiCT-TB (tuberculosis), DIRECT (type 2 diabetes) and EU-AIMS (autism spectrum disorders). Other projects, such as MIP-DILI (liver toxicity), ABIRISK (novel drugs called biopharmaceuticals) and BIOVACSAFE (vaccines) are focused more on safety issues. Finally, IMI is pleased to announce the launch of another Education & Training project; EUPATI will create a European Patients’ Academy on Therapeutic Innovation to educate patients and the public about medicines development and empower patients to engage more effectively in the drug development process.
Update on IMI’s 4th and 5th Calls for proposals
IMI received 14 Expressions of Interest (EoIs) in response to its 5th Call for proposals. The evaluations are ongoing and the second stage of the Call is scheduled for launch in early July.
Meanwhile, the Stage 2 of the 4th Call for proposals has now been concluded and the projects should be launched in the coming months. The independent observers’ report of Stage 2 of the 4th Call is now available online. The observers state that the evaluations were conducted ‘professionally, fairly and according to the established procedures and regulations’ and the overall process is ‘of excellent quality and follows international peer review standards’. The report also includes recommendations to further improve IMI’s evaluation procedures.
Stakeholder Forum a success
Over 150 people attended IMI’s Stakeholder Forum on 30 May in Brussels; participants learnt about the latest successes of IMI’s projects, such as the eTOX system for predicting drug toxicity; the Open PHACTS Open Pharmacological Space; PROactive’s success in getting patients involved in research; and the launch of on-course® by IMI’s Education & Training projects. Participants were also introduced to IMI’s 3rd Call projects. The day also featured workshops on IMI’s 6th Call for proposals as well as the forthcoming indicative topics on vaccines and effectiveness research. In addition, over 200 people attended IMI’s webinars on the 6th Call for proposals.
European Commission launches €2 million vaccine prize
Vaccines are an extremely effective way of tackling infectious diseases, yet many people in tropical and developing countries are denied the life-saving benefits of vaccines because the vaccines cannot be kept cool during transport and/or storage and so lose their effectiveness. Now the European Commission is offering a €2 million prize for innovations to solve this major global health problem. The entries can tackle the problem from any angle, and could include different ways of formulating, preserving, or transporting vaccines. The competition is open to all legal entities based in the EU or in a country associated with the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The deadline for entries is 3 September 2013.
- Details of how to enter, as well as the competition rules and frequently asked questions, can be found on the competition website
News from the projects
- Give your career a boost with on-course
IMI Education & Training project EMTRAIN has launched on-course® - Europe’s most comprehensive biomedical and medicines research and development postgraduate course portal. The portal gathers together information on over 3 000 courses taught in 20 languages in 39 countries and covering over 60 scientific and therapeutic areas. Free and easy to use, on-course allows users to search for courses by type (Masters, PhD, short course), schedule (full or part time, modular), learning type (distance, face-to-face, mixed), language, location, and scientific / therapeutic area. Users can also search for courses delivered by IMI’s Education & Training projects. For each course on the site, on-course® provides a course description, list of modules (if relevant), details of fees, contact information, and links to the course website. In addition, users can compare courses quickly and easily. Finally, for people looking for courses while on the move, there is the on-course® app, which can be downloaded to smartphones for free from Google Play (for Android phones) or the AppStore (for Apple products).
- IMIDIA secures additional funding from major diabetes charity
IMI diabetes project IMIDIA has secured additional support of up to $1 million (approx. € 750 000) in funding from the US-based JDRF, the world’s largest supporter of research to cure, treat, and prevent type 1 diabetes (T1D). The additional support allows IMIDIA participants to expand their research efforts that are focused on speeding up the search for a cure for diabetes. The first two JDRF-funded projects are already underway, and more are in the pipeline. JDRF will support projects that address issues not covered by IMIDIA’s original work plan, thereby ensuring that the funds will be used for novel research. ‘IMI is an attractive partner for JDRF, because through their IMIDIA project, we share a common goal of accelerating the development of better treatments and cures for type 1 diabetes,’ commented Adrianne Wong, Senior Scientist for Cure Therapies at JDRF.
- Read the joint IMI - IMIDIA– JDRF press release
- NEWMEDS triggers rethink on ‘negative’ symptom treatments
‘Negative’ symptoms of schizophrenia could respond better to existing treatments than was previously thought, according to new research from IMI’s NEWMEDS project. Schizophrenia patients are said to have negative symptoms when they lack behaviours that are found in healthy people. For example, people with schizophrena may appear to lack emotion or the ability to feel pleasure or act spontaneously. (For comparison, symptoms such as hallucinations which are not normally experienced by healthy people are called ‘positive’ symptoms). NEWMEDS’ Jonathan Rabinowitz of Bar Ilan University in Israel and his colleagues studied data from large numbers of clinical trials studying various second generation antipsychotics in schizophrenia amassed by the NEWMEDS project. Their analyses revealed that the overall response to treatment was similar in patients with only prominent negative symptoms to patients who had either only prominent positive symptoms or both prominent negative and positive symptoms before treatment. Moreover, around two thirds of all patients who complete six weeks of treatment with second generation antipsychotic drugs have no residual negative symptoms of moderate or higher severity. Only a minority of patients were still suffering from prominent negative symptoms that would make such patients suitable to be studied in adjunctive treatment with new compounds particularly developed for the treatment of negative symptoms. ‘It has generally been maintained that negative symptoms do not respond to currently-used second generation antipsychotic medications,’ commented Professor Rabinowitz. ‘Our results suggest that they do respond.’ The findings suggest that it will be harder than expected for new medicines to prove themselves against existing medicines. ‘The findings were shared with drug developers and regulators who expressed interest in this work,’ said Professor Rabinowitz.