- 10th Call for proposals – indicative text released
- 9th Call for proposals – deadline approaching
- A symposium on public-private partnerships in immunology
- European Parliament debate on IMI’s achievements and future
- IMI puts the spotlight on PPPs in translational medicine at EACPT Congress
- IMI cited in Science Translational Medicine cover article on science of collaboration
- News from the projects
10th Call for proposals – indicative text released
IMI has published the indicative text of its 10th Call for proposals, which is scheduled for launch later this autumn. The Call comprises one topic, on immunological assay standardisation and development for use in assessments of correlates of protection for influenza vaccines.
Webinars will be organised to provide potential applicants with detailed information on the topic – for the latest information on the webinar schedule, join the IMI LinkedIn group or follow us on Twitter.
IMI also plans to launch an 11th Call for proposals at the end of the year – further information on the topics to be included under this Call will be made available in the coming weeks.
All information regarding future IMI Calls for proposals is indicative and subject to change. Final information about IMI’s future Calls will be communicated after approval by the IMI Governing Board.
9th Call for proposals – deadline approaching
The deadline for submitting Expressions of Interests for IMI’s 9th Call for proposals is approaching fast. All submissions must be made via the online submissions tool SOFIA by 17:00 Brussels time (CEST) on 9 October 2013. For the full Call text and details of how to apply, see the Call Overview tool or visit the 9th Call – Stage 1 web page
- Read the Questions & Answers on the 9th Call topics
- The European Medicines Agency (EMA) wants to hear from consortia planning an Expression of Interest under the 'WEBAE – Leveraging emerging technologies for pharmacovigilance' topic. More information
A symposium on public-private partnerships in immunology
Over 200 participants attended IMI’s symposium at the 15th International Congress of Immunology (ICI2013) on 26 August 2013, in Milan, Italy. This event focused on public-private partnerships (PPPs) as an innovative way of working which is radically changing research in healthcare and drug development.
This symposium brought together leading immunologists from around the world who are pioneering this new way of working. The session focused on case studies demonstrating how PPPs are transforming the translational immunology landscape and accelerating breakthroughs in research and drug development.
Jeffrey A. Bluestone, from the University of California San Francisco, Marc Feldmann, from the University of Oxford, Michel Goldman, Executive Director of IMI and Paul-Peter Tak from GlaxoSmithKline provided case studies of successful PPPs in immunology. The symposium was chaired by Luciano Adorini, President of the 15th Congress of Immunology.
- To view the presentations, please visit the event webpage
European Parliament debate on IMI’s achievements and future
On 10 September 2013 IMI organised a high-level dinner debate in the European Parliament, Strasbourg. The theme of the evening was ‘Putting Europe at the forefront of innovation in drug development’. The event provided a forum to review IMI’s achievements and discuss how the lessons learnt from the implementation of IMI can be carried forward into Horizon 2020. The debate brought eight Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) together with EU policy-makers and stakeholders in the field of health research - including patient representatives and academics. Among the highlights of the discussions were IMI’s contribution towards improving European citizens’ quality of life; IMI’s role in boosting the competitiveness of the European biopharmaceutical sector; and IMI’s support for the implementation of EU policies, and its work with patients, medical professionals, researchers and scientists.
Speakers included Petru Luhan MEP, Antonyia Parvanova MEP, Philippe De Backer MEP, Vittorio Prodi MEP and Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP as well as David Byrne, former European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection; Mary Baker, President of the European Brain Council; President of the European Federation of Neurological Associations; and Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Director of the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim.
IMI puts the spotlight on PPPs in translational medicine at EACPT Congress
The role of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in translational medicine was the subject IMI’s scientific symposium 'Innovation through collaboration' at the 11th Congress of the European Association for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (EACPT 2013) in Geneva, Switzerland on 29 August 2013. Over 70 participants heard from representatives of IMI’s autism project EU-AIMS, the IMI Diabetes platform and the antimicrobial resistance project COMBACTE. 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.
- Presentations from the event are online
IMI cited in Science Translational Medicine cover article on science of collaboration
In a recent article calling for a new ‘science of collaboration’, Magdalini Papadaki and Gigi Hirsch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) cite IMI as the ‘largest multi-stakeholder initiative’, and note that it even inspired the US look into establishing an equivalent organisation. Noting that these kinds of collaborations are on the rise, the authors point out that there are growing concerns about how well these collaborations are managed and implemented, with some stakeholders suffering from ‘consortium fatigue’.
The paper examines emerging data on the open collaboration model established by IMI and others and calls for rigorous evaluation metrics for establishing what works and what can be improved for future collaborations. What is needed, the authors argue, is a new ‘science of collaboration’ that can ‘provide a shared taxonomy, a conceptual framework, and tools to build a knowledge base that informs strategies and tactics for funding, design, management, monitoring, and coordination of new initiatives’.
They conclude: ‘In a world in which meaningful success metrics often remain elusive, the phenomenon of consortium fatigue provides a valuable lens through which to identify opportunities for improvement across a range of variables in multi-stakeholder collaborations. The science of collaboration will provide the foundational tools and methods we need to expedite our learning and enable the full exploitation of this powerful collaboration model in the face of emerging challenges and opportunities’.
News from the projects
- EU-AIMS highlights gender differences in autism
Autism affects different parts of the brain in males and females, reveals new research from IMI project EU-AIMS published in the journal Brain. The findings suggest that researchers should stratify their results by gender and avoid assuming that results found in males also apply to females.
The team used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of both healthy adults and adults with high-functioning autism to determine whether the condition affects male and female brains in the same way or differently. They found that the brain areas that were atypical in women with autism are similar to the areas that usually differ between males and females, lending support to the idea that females with autism show neuroanatomical ‘masculinisation’. In the men with autism, different brain areas were affected.
‘This is one of the largest brain imaging studies of sex/gender differences yet conducted in autism. Females with autism have long been under-recognised and probably misunderstood,’ commented Dr Meng-Chuan Lai of the University of Cambridge, who led the research. ‘The findings suggest that we should not blindly assume that everything found in males with autism applies to females. This is an important example of the diversity within the ‘spectrum’.
- European Lead Factory runs first screen
This summer, IMI’s European Lead Factory project successfully completed its first miniaturised screening programme, highlighting the capabilities of the project’s Screening Centre at Pivot Park in Oss, the Netherlands. Where a traditional lab would test tens to hundreds of compounds per day, the robot in Oss completed testing of 300 000 compounds in under 3 days. The European Lead Factory has two main components – the Screening Centre in the Netherlands, and the Compound Collection, which is based in Scotland and currently comprises the 300 000 compounds contributed to the project by the pharmaceutical companies. A further 200 000 compounds will be added to the Compound Collection throughout the project by the public partners. Looking to the future, the project hopes to open Calls for further public screens in the near future.
- Open PHACTS launches foundation
IMI’s knowledge management project Open PHACTS has established the not-for-profit Open PHACTS Foundation to ensure the sustainability of the project’s work when the IMI funding period comes to an end in August 2014.
The Open PHACTS Foundation will continue to support and develop the Open PHACTS infrastructure, and will act as a hub for relevant research. The scientific community fostered by the Open PHACTS project will be served by the Open PHACTS Foundation, which acts as a unique meeting place for the life sciences industry, pharmaceutical companies, academia, technology partners and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
More information on the Open PHACTS Foundation, including details of the benefits of membership and how to get involved, can be found on the Open PHACTS Foundation website.
- on-course® hits 5 000 mark
IMI’s EMTRAIN project has reached an important milestone – more than 5 000 courses are now available through its on-course® catalogue, including more than 2 400 European Master Programmes and a continuously-growing set of continuing professional development (CPD) and PhD courses. The on-course® catalogue represents the most comprehensive biomedical and medicines research and development postgraduate course portal in Europe and is fast, free and easy to use. EMTRAIN provides a pan-European forum for the interaction of industry, academia and regulators for a joined-up approach to post-graduate life sciences education.
- PharmaTrain adds two universities to Centres of Excellence network
IMI’s Education and Training project PharmaTrain has recently added two universities to its Centres of Excellence network. The addition of Cardiff University and the Catholic University Medical School of Rome to the network brings the number of PharmaTrain Centres of Excellence to 11. Both universities are part of the PharmaTrain Global 45 Universities Network.
The programme within PharmaTrain’s framework at the Cardiff University is a Postgraduate Course in Pharmaceutical Medicine. ‘Excellent course content, experienced presenters and interaction with my colleagues from different medical specialties added immensely to my on-the-job training! […]. The Cardiff course equipped me with many ideas, which I will implement in my daily job,’ comments Dr Victoria Zazulina of Boehringer Ingelheim, UK.
The Catholic University of Rome offers a Master in Preclinical and Clinical Research and Development of Drugs. ‘The Course helped me to have a comprehensive look at different areas of clinical research. […] It has been an extremely rewarding experience, which I think will be an asset for my future career path,’ explains student Chiara Mozzetta.
- Learn more about PharmaTrain’s upcoming courses