- IMI’s 11th Call for proposals launched
- Join the IMI 11th Call webinars
- Find partners for your consortium
- IMI contributes to G8 Dementia Summit
- How well do patients know IMI and what is in for them?
- Investing in excellence – IMI offers SMEs VC networking opportunity
- Journal paper highlights success of PPP model
- European Lead Factory highlighted in Nature Medicine review of 2013
- News from the projects
- Season’s Greetings
IMI’s 11th Call for proposals launched
On 11 December 2013 IMI launched its 11th Call for proposals. The Call has the following 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
Topics under the New Drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB) programme on antimicrobial resistance:
- Epidemiology research and development of novel systemic antibacterial molecules against healthcare-associated infections due to Gram-negative pathogens
- Development of novel inhaled antibiotic regimens in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and patients with non-CF bronchiectasis (BE)
The deadline for submission of Expressions of Interests (EoIs) is 8 April 2014.
The full Call text as well as details of how to apply can be found on the 11th Call Stage 1 page
Join the IMI 11th Call webinars
From 7 to 17 January 2014, IMI will hold webinars on all 11th Call topics. Each topic will have a dedicated webinar. The events will feature a presentation of the Call topic by the EFPIA topic coordinator as well as time for questions and answers. The webinars will therefore represent an excellent opportunity to learn more about the topics, interact directly with the topic coordinators, and get in touch with potential project partners. Registration is free but obligatory. As places are limited, early registration is recommended.
- For more information and to register, visit the webinar web page
- Learn more about the 11th Call topics
Find partners for your consortium
Having the right partners in your consortium is a fundamental aspect of your proposal. Evaluators will assess your proposal based on the consortium’s ability to investigate and fulfil all aspects of the Call topic. A consortium featuring strategic partnership is thus a key factor during the evaluation process. The best ways to find partners for your consortium are to activate your professional network, participate in networking events and identify colleagues, individuals and organisations who may share your interest in submitting a proposal for an IMI project. In order to facilitate networking, IMI also provides an online partner search tool for people, organisations and enterprises interested in participating in future IMI projects.
The tool helps experts in the hunt for potential partners for an Expression of Interest in response to an IMI Call for proposals. The partner search tool allows you to look for partners by subject area as well as by organisation type – large industry, patient organisation, regulatory agency, research organisation, SME, university, venture capitalist etc. – and by country. People who used the partner search tool for IMI’s previous Calls for proposals are advised to update their profiles to reflect the new topics that they are interested in.
- The Partner Search Tool is accessible through the IMI website
IMI contributes to G8 Dementia Summit
IMI was an active participant of the recent G8 Dementia Summit, which was hosted by the UK Government on 11 December in London. The event coincided with the launch of IMI’s 11th Call for proposals, which includes a topic to test a new approach to clinical trials for drugs designed to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The topic was announced by the EU’s Health Commissioner, Tonio Borg, in his speech during the opening session of the event, and in a later session by Paul Stoffels of J&J, the company leading the topic. IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman also had the opportunity to explain more about the project during a discussion. Finally, IMI was cited in the summit communique.
- Read IMI’s press release on the Alzheimer’s topic
How well do patients know IMI and what is in for them?
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are relatively well known to patients, and IMI was the partnership most frequently given as an example, according to a study carried out for IMI by the London School of Economics (LSE). The most well-known IMI project was EUPATI, followed by EUROPAIN. The study aimed to assess the potential for patient involvement in IMI projects, and to make recommendations for further collaboration.
Most respondents thought IMI played an important role in encouraging research on innovative medicines, felt IMI’s research was relevant to patients and families of their organisation, and were positive about becoming involved in IMI activities. A majority stated education and training activities to enhance patients’ understanding of R&D would be valuable to their organisation, as would being able to give input to the IMI research agenda.
The majority of respondents thought patients could contribute to R&D by helping researchers understand which clinical benefits are important to patients, and by providing input on the design of clinical trials and disseminating results of research. Overall remarks emerging from respondents focused on the need of direct communication and partnership between IMI and patient organisations; simplified and accessible information; education and training for successful participation, as well as a need for a centralised platform to facilitate patient involvement.
Investing in excellence – IMI offers SMEs VC networking opportunity
How important are the health entrepreneurs today? Where is the entrepreneurship going? The challenges facing the drug research and development community are immense and cannot be tackled by any single company, institution, or even country, alone. When IMI was launched in 2008, some wondered if it would be possible to create successful innovation networks of academics, researchers from industry, SMEs, patient groups and regulators.
On 18 February 2014 IMI and the International Venture Club (IVC) will bring together health entrepreneurs, big pharma and specialised SMEs, who have proven unique value through their participation in an IMI project. The agenda includes:
- a debate on the added value of the PPP approach in boosting pharma R&D
- a panel discussion with investment specialists from big pharma about future opportunities for SMEs in the new model for investment
- presentations covering IMI’s SMEs success stories and Horizon 2020 opportunities for SMEs
- networking opportunities
- dedicated, pre-scheduled private exploratory meetings
If you are an SME involved in one or more IMI projects, and you have products or ideas that you would like to discuss at the IMI Investing in Excellence event, please contact the IMI Events team at IMI_Events@imi.europa.eu and complete the short online survey.
Journal paper highlights success of PPP model
IMI’s achievements demonstrate the efficiency of the public-private partnership (PPP) model of collaboration, according to an article in Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal by IMI Principal Scientific Manager Elisabetta Vaudano. Dr Vaudano cites examples from IMI projects.
- SUMMIT has identified new genetic variants associated with kidney disease in diabetes.
- EUROPAIN has uncovered potential drug targets for the treatment of chronic pain.
- EU-AIMS has demonstrated that some of the brain changes associated with autism may be reversible.
- PREDECT has identified a potential new drug target for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.
- eTOX is delivering new computer models for assessing the toxicity of potential drugs.
- Open PHACTS has integrated several publicly-available databases and developed applications to query and analyse the data.
- The European Lead Factory is developing a unique, comprehensive, high‐quality compound collection comprising 500 000 compounds.
- K4DD is improving our understanding of how potential drugs bind with their target, and developing methods and tools to allow researchers to study drug-target interactions with greater ease.
‘Public-private partnerships represent attractive means to leverage resources dispersed across industry, academia, and voluntary health organisations in order to address its multiple challenges, in an era of constrained resources,’ the article concludes. ‘The reported achievements of IMI projects demonstrate that this approach can lead to significant advances for the development of innovative drugs.’
European Lead Factory highlighted in Nature Medicine review of 2013
The launch of IMI’s European Lead Factory project was cited as the highlight in February in Nature Medicine’s review of 2013. Under the heading ‘formidable factory’, the article explains how the project will open up opportunities to test promising new drug compounds. Other highlights of 2013 include the launch of the Human Brain Project, the naming of the new coronavirus ‘Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus’ (or MERS-CoV for short), and the US Supreme Court ruling that human genes cannot be patented.
News from the projects
European Lead Factory open for proposals
The European Lead Factory project is now accepting proposals for both compounds and target programmes from project partners as well as external academics and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Compound ideas will be assessed by a selection committee made up of respected chemists from the pharmaceutical industry, SMEs, and academia. The committee, which is bound by a confidentiality agreement, will assess proposals on the basis of their molecular properties, structural features, novelty, and innovation, among other things. Compounds that make the grade will be added to the Joint European Compound Collection; the selection committee will decide the financial reward due to the proposers.
Meanwhile, the project’s biology target programme is open to submissions for all disease areas, including oncology, cardiovascular, central nervous system (CNS), respiratory, and neglected diseases. Target screening programmes should be novel, of high quality, and ready for high throughput screening (HTS).
- Details of how to apply, plus information on the project's intellectual property policy, can be found on the project website.
Save the date for EUPATI
IMI’s EUPATI project (European Patients' Academy for Therapeutic Innovation) is organising a workshop entitled ‘EUPATI: Reaching the General Public on Medicines Development’ on 2 April 2014 in Warsaw, Poland. The event will address how to best inform patients, patient representatives and citizens, and raise public awareness of the development process of new medical treatments.
The EUPATI workshop is designed to discuss best practices on information sharing, seek input to help shape the EUPATI dissemination strategy and discuss sustainability options.
Above all, this event will be an opportunity to network with up to 150 patients, patient representatives and others to make a difference in connecting with and engaging patients, while helping EUPATI better understand the needs of local communities.
Participation in this workshop is free. Some grants will be available for participants from patient organisations and, in some cases, from academia, to cover travel and accommodation expenses.
- Further information and registration details will be published shortly on the EUPATI website
Meet the IMI Education and Training Programmes
There are five projects within IMI’s research training platform aiming to revolutionise education and training to deliver more effective and safe new medicines for patients – EMTRAIN, Eu2P, EUPATI, PharmaTrain, and SafeSciMET. Collaboration is the key to success and equally important is the projects' ability to reach intended audiences with information to raise awareness and encourage people to get involved in project activities.
Over the next six months these projects will be represented at a variety of European and international conferences through display booths, dedicated sessions or individual presentations. If you are planning to attend any of the following events, please take the opportunity to stop by and find out what is happening in the IMI training and education programmes and how you can benefit, either from a professional or personal perspective.
- DIA EuroMeeting 2014 (Vienna, 25-27 March)
- EUPATI Regional Meeting 2014 (Warsaw, 2-3 April)
- World Research and Innovation Congress (Amsterdam, 5-6 June)
- Euroscience Open Forum (Copenhagen, 21-26 June)
Antimicrobial resistance projects sign memorandum of understanding
IMI’s first antimicrobial resistance projects, COMBACTE and TRANSLOCATION, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate their collaboration. The projects are part of the New Drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB) programme. As such, there was always an understanding that the projects would work together – this MoU simply formalises and sets out the framework for collaboration. Specifically, the MoU covers issues such as data sharing (and confidentiality), communication and coordination, as well as the creation of a shared Ethics Committee. One of the tasks of the TRANSLOCATION project is the creation of an Info Centre that would gather data from all ND4BB projects. With this in mind, the MoU also contains a section devoted to data standards and analysis. Looking to the future, the new ND4BB projects that will be set up in the coming months will also be invited to join the MoU.
IMI would like to wish all its partners and stakeholders a merry Christmas and all the best for 2014.
The IMI Executive Office is closed from 24 December 2013 to 2 January 2014 inclusive. During this period, any urgent queries should be sent to antoine.cuvillierATimi.europa.eu (24-28 December) or ewa.zettergrenATimi.europa.eu (29 December – 2 January).