- 11th Call for proposals – indicative text released
- IMI Scientific Committee welcomes new members
- 10th Call for proposals – still open!
- IMI marks European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2013
- New IMI project: leading organisations unite to improve benefit & risk assessments of vaccines
- News from the projects
11th Call for proposals – indicative text released
IMI has published the indicative text of its 11th Call for proposals, which is scheduled for launch in December 2013. The Call comprises eight topics:
- Applied public-private research enabling osteoarthritis clinical headway
- European platform for proof of concept for prevention in Alzheimer’s Disease
- Blood-based biomarker assays for personalised tumour therapy: value of latest circulating biomarkers
- Zoonoses anticipation and preparedness initiative
- Generation of research tools to translate genomic discoveries into drug discovery projects
- Ecorisk prediction
Under the Theme New Drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB):
- ND4BB Topic 6: Epidemiology research and development of novel systemic antibacterial molecules against healthcare-associated infections due to Gram-negative pathogens
- ND4BB Topic 7: Development of novel inhaled antibiotic regimens in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and patients with non-CF bronchiectasis (BE).
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.
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.
IMI Scientific Committee welcomes new members
IMI welcomed seven newly-appointed Scientific Committee members at the group’s latest meeting in Brussels on 29 November. The new members, nominated by the States Representatives Group and appointed by the Governing Board, join the existing five Scientific Committee members. With them, they bring considerable expertise in the fields of rheumatology, pharmacology and pharmacotoxicology, stem cell research, oncology, bioinformatics, and health services management, health policy and public health.
The role of the Scientific Committee is to provide strategic, scientific advice, for example on the IMI research agenda, the annual scientific priorities (which form the basis of the Call topics), and the composition of peer review committees. They also participate in the consultations on new topics for Calls for proposals, and play an active role in reviews of ongoing IMI projects.
- Brief biographies of all Scientific Committee members are available on the Scientific Committee web page
10th Call for proposals – still open!
The IMI 10th Call for proposals is still open for submission of Expressions of Interest. This Call features one topic: Immunological assay standardisation and development for use in assessments of correlates of protection for influenza vaccines. For the full Call text and details of how to apply, visit the 10th Call – Stage 1 web. All submissions must be made via the on-line submissions tool SOFIA.
- Submissions deadline: 28 January 2014 at 17:00 Brussels time (CET)
IMI marks European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2013
European Antibiotic Awareness Day is an annual European public health initiative that takes place on 18 November to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance and advise on prudent antibiotic use. The latest data confirms that across the European Union, the number of patients infected by resistant bacteria is increasing and that antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Prudent use of antibiotics can help stop bacteria from developing resistance and help keep antibiotics effective for the use of future generations.
IMI is addressing the urgent need for new antibiotics through its New Drugs 4 Bad Bugs (ND4BB) programme. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria kill 25 000 people in the EU every year, and cost the economy €1.5 billion. ND4BB represents an unprecedented partnership between industry, academia and biotech organisations to combat antibiotic resistance in Europe by tackling the scientific, regulatory, and business challenges that are hampering the development of new antibiotics. The first two projects of the ND4BB programme, COMBACTE-CARE, COMBACTE-MAGNET, COMBACTE-NET and TRANSLOCATION, were launched in early 2013. In addition, three projects are under development, and IMI’s 11th Call for proposals includes a further two indicative topics on anti-microbial resistance (AMR).
- Read IMI’s news item on European Antibiotic Awareness Day
- Read the European Commission press release and memo talking about IMI and its ND4BB programme
- Watch Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, talking about IMI and its ND4BB programme in a video clip
New IMI project: leading organisations unite to improve benefit & risk assessments of vaccines
IMI has launched a new project to help health professionals, regulatory agencies, public health institutions, vaccine manufacturers and the general public make more informed decisions on the benefits and risks of marketed vaccines. It will do this by creating a framework and tools to rapidly deliver reliable data on vaccine benefits and risks. Dubbed ADVANCE (‘Accelerated development of vaccine benefit-risk collaboration in Europe’), the €10.7 million, 5-year project represents a unique collaboration between key players in sector, including European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), European Medicines Agency (EMA), national public health and regulatory bodies, vaccine manufacturers, SMEs, and academic institutions.
News from the projects
- Join eTRIKS on 31 January for its first community meeting
IMI’s eTRIKS project will hold its first community meeting entitled Translational Research Knowledge Management in Action in Barcelona, Spain on 31 January 2014. Registration is open and free via the event web page.
Ewan Birney of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) will give the keynote speech on EMBL-EBI and Elixir: the importance of a life science data infrastructure. The agenda also includes presentations on the challenges faced and solutions from projects supported by eTRIKS, as well as the launch of the eTRIKS public server and platform 1.1.1. One of the key benefits for attendees is the opportunity to shape the future of eTRIKS.
- To stay up to date with eTRIKS, sign up to their blog and newsletter
- CHEM21 – the University of York on screen during Chemistry Week
To celebrate Chemistry Week, researchers at the University of York released a series of short films about how PhD students participating in IMI’s CHEM21 project are working towards a greener pharmaceutical industry. CHEM21 (full name ‘Chemical manufacturing methods for the 21st century pharmaceutical industries’) aims to generate a range of methods to make the drug development process more environmentally friendly. The methods developed by CHEM21 will also help the pharmaceutical industry to cut costs, resulting in cheaper medicines for patients. CHEM21 started in October 2012 and will last for 4 years. Chemistry Week was a themed week of events promoted by the UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), running from 16 to 23 November. The event is held every two years to promote a positive image of chemistry and increase public understanding of the importance of chemical science in our everyday lives. This year’s theme for Chemistry Week was health.
- Watch the videos on the Green Chemistry at York YouTube channel
- SUMMIT ultrasound device could prevent heart attacks and strokes
IMI diabetes project SUMMIT has developed a revolutionary new ultrasound device capable of identifying patients at imminent risk of a heart attack or stroke. Atherosclerosis occurs when plaques of fatty material build up on the inside walls of blood vessels. If a plaque breaks up, the resulting blood clot could block the blood vessel and so cause a stroke or heart attack. People with diabetes are at a greater risk of both conditions. Currently, detecting plaques that are at risk of breaking up involves expensive, risky procedures as medical devices are inserted into the blood vessels themselves. The SUMMIT method is non-invasive, and for the patient it works in much the same way as a normal ultrasound, such as that used on pregnant women, although in reality it is much more complex. The SUMMIT team is now validating the new ultrasound technique at four centres across Europe. Although SUMMIT developed the device with diabetic patients in mind, it could be used on all patients at risk of heart attacks and stroke. The researchers behind the device applied for a patent earlier this year. ‘We are hoping to get a first response to our patent application by the end of the year,’ said Isabel Gonçalves of the University Hospital in Malmö-Skåne, one of the inventors of the device. ‘In my view our innovation is going to be a big hit if it continues giving positive results in the rest of the tests.’
- Find out more about the SUMMIT ultrasound device, as well as other news from the project, in the latest issue of the SUMMIT Newsletter
- EUPATI Director wins outstanding leadership award
Patient advocate and EUPATI Project Director Jan Geissler has been presented with a European Outstanding Leadership Award ‘in recognition of his exceptional performance and leadership within EUPATI, in particular by addressing training issues and by improving the availability of both patient-centric information for the public as well as educating patient experts to have the capacity and capability to contribute to R&D’. The award, handed out annually by the Belgian Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP), is presented to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional performance, achievement and sustained service towards the goals of ACRP and contributed to the advancement of clinical research in general. ‘I feel deeply honoured to accept this award on behalf of my fellow patient advocates as well as the EUPATI team,’ said Mr Geissler. ‘The fact that this award of research professionals is being bestowed on patient advocates, as well as to EUPATI, a partnership of patient organisations, academia and industry, is a reflection of the paradigm shift: patients are increasingly seen as true partners in medicines R&D.’