Register for the IMI Stakeholder Forum 2014!
The IMI Stakeholder Forum 2014 will take place on 21 May at the Hotel Crowne Plaza - Le Palace in Brussels, Belgium.
IMI warmly encourages policy-makers, small and medium-sized enterprises, patient organisations, regulatory authorities, academic teams, industry, hospitals and other organisations with an interest in IMI projects to register for this event via this link.
Registration for this event is free of change, but compulsory. The registration deadline is 15 May 2014.
The IMI Stakeholder Forum is a unique opportunity to learn about and discuss IMI’s latest results, activities and plans. This year’s event will have two sessions. The morning will feature a strong scientific focus on breakthrough scientific trends in stem cells research; Ole Isacson, from the Neuroregeneration Research Institute of the McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, will be the keynote lecturer. The afternoon session will concentrate on IMI 2, and open a debate with all IMI’s stakeholders on how to drive health innovation under Horizon 2020.
For more information on the IMI Stakeholder Forum 2014, please visit the event web page.
Putting diabetes patients first
IMI will co-organise a patient focus meeting with JDRF on Tuesday 20 May at the Hotel Crowne Plaza-Le Palace in Brussels, Belgium.
The goal of the meeting is to focus on identifying research & development gaps in the diabetes area from the perspective of patient needs and challenges. High-level speakers from academia and industry, including clinicians, will describe the disease, its different aspects, complexities and causes. Patients will focus on their experience of the disease and the challenges they face. Experts from IMI’s diabetes projects will describe how they are already addressing patients’ needs to give patients more personalised treatments in the future. The objective is to elaborate on how to ensure diabetes research is more patient-centric and covers the whole spectrum of diabetes, going beyond the typical type 1 and 2 classifications.
You can register and download the final agenda from the event web page Registration is now open and is free but obligatory.
IMI 2 – indicative topics announced
Summaries of the first topics slated for inclusion in the first Calls for proposals under IMI 2 are now online on the Future Topics page of the website. Currently, the following topics are under consideration for inclusion in future Calls:
- Translational approaches to disease modifying therapy of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM).
- Discovery and validation of novel endpoints in retinal diseases.
- RADAR: Remote assessment of disease and relapse.
All information regarding IMI 2 and future Calls for proposals is indicative and subject to the approval of the IMI 2 legislative package and the agreement of the IMI Governing Board on the Call topics.
Strategic Research Agenda for IMI 2 published
The Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) for IMI 2 provides a framework to identify the research areas that will be prioritised for funding under IMI 2. The strategy has been developed on the basis of extensive consultations with a wide range of stakeholders.
The SRA for IMI 2 is set to achieve the vision of delivering ‘the right prevention and treatment to the right patient at the right time’ for priority diseases.
The SRA highlights 11 disease areas as high priorities for both the European healthcare system and the pharmaceutical industry: antimicrobial resistance, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric diseases, respiratory diseases, autoimmune diseases, ageing-associated diseases/conditions, cancer, and orphan diseases.
These areas raise challenges in the discovery, development and delivery of innovative effective medicines. Research conducted under IMI 2 will be tailored to deliver the tools and capabilities required to tackle challenges to effective healthcare solutions.
The SRA also presents a strong focus on vaccines, as well as on technologies that will enable knowledge management solutions for biomedical studies and research.
Under the guidance of the SRA, IMI 2 will pave the way for breakthrough vaccines, medicines and treatments to tackle major health challenges, with the ultimate goal to accelerate the delivery of personalised medicine and prevention.
- Download the SRA for IMI 2.
New Chair and vice chair of IMI’s Governing Board
UCB and IMI announced on 1 April 2014 that UCB CEO Roch Doliveux has again been appointed Chair of the Governing Board of IMI.
Roch Doliveux has been UCB’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Committee for the last ten years. Under his leadership, UCB has developed into a focused patient-centric biopharmaceutical leader recognized for its attractive growth prospects and productive pipeline.
UCB has been a member of IMI since its initiation in 2006 with Roch Doliveux joining the IMI Governing Board in May 2010, and Chairing the IMI Governing Board from 2012 to 2013.
The Deputy Chairmanship of the IMI Governing Board will be assumed by Rudolf Strohmeier, the Deputy Director-General of DG Research & Innovation of the European Commission.
- Read the full press release
Action needed on data, says Nature Reviews Drug Discovery article
The biomedical research world is generating ever-increasing amounts of data, but to use this data effectively, the research community must overcome challenges in the sharing, integration and analyses of the different kinds of data generated at different stages of the research and development process. This is the conclusion of a paper, published in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, which draws on the output of a workshop entitled ‘Translational knowledge management in pharmaceutical R&D’ held at IMI’s offices in July 2013. The workshop included presentations by many IMI data management projects, such as DDMoRe, EHR4CR, the European Lead Factory, EMIF, eTOX, eTRIKS and Open PHACTS. The paper makes the following recommendations:
- Protocol design and data collection should focus on questions that are relevant for decision making in pharmaceutical R&D.
- Data standards should be used.
- Data and models should be annotated to allow others to decide if the data is relevant for them.
- Data sharing should be seen as a responsibility.
- Collaborative projects should ensure the sustainability of data collections.
News from the projects
Genes could influence effectiveness of MS treatment, ABIRISK reveals
The effectiveness of one of the main drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) could be influenced by patients’ genes, according to new research from IMI’s ABIRISK project published in PLoS ONE. The findings could influence treatment decisions in the future. MS is a neurological disease in which the immune system attacks the protective coating around nerve cells. The frontline treatment for MS is beta interferon (IFNβ), which comes in two types – IFNβ-1a and IFNβ-1b. However, around a fifth of patients develop high levels of antibodies that neutralise the drug, reducing its effectiveness. In this study, the researchers reveal that patients carrying certain genetic variants are at greater risk of developing high levels of antibodies, and suggest that this could help determine treatment decisions in the future. However they caution that their results should be confirmed in additional studies, and emphasise that the factor with the strongest influence on the risk of developing antibodies is the way the drug is prepared and administered. Patients who receive IFNβ-1a as an intramuscular injection are at the lowest risk (under 10%) of developing neutralising antibodies, while patients who receive it as a subcutaneous injection face a much higher risk (around 30%). Patients taking IFNβ-1b face the greatest risk (almost 50%).
New EHR4CR video
IMI’s EHR4CR project has produced a new animated video detailing the project’s main goal: to significantly improve healthcare research by advancing the ability of industry and academia to securely analyse de-identifed electronic health records, strictly complying with data privacy, ethical, regulatory and legal policies. The project will also enable hospitals to participate more efficiently in more clinical trial programmes and, ultimately, ensure faster access for patients to safe and effective medicines.
TRANSLOCATION in the spotlight in Science Translational Medicine
IMI’s TRANSLOCATION project is featured in an editorial in top science journal Science Translational Medicine. The editorial by Robert Stavenger of GSK and Mathias Winterhalter of Jacobs University Bremen is entitled How to get good drugs into bad bugs and looks more closely at the project’s aims and objectives. As one of several projects involved in IMI’s ND4BB platform, TRANSLOCATION is focused on addressing drug penetration into Gram-negative bacteria.
ND4BB – the story so far, in Nature Reviews Microbiology
IMI’s antimicrobial resistance (AMR) programme New Drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB) is the focus of a recent comment piece in Nature Reviews Microbiology by John Rex of AstraZeneca, who is involved in ND4BB. The article explains how IMI and other projects around the world are tackling the biggest challenges in antibiotic research and development. For example, TRANSLOCATION is investigating how to transport antibiotics into bacteria, while COMBACTE focuses on the design and implementation of more efficient clinical trials. ENABLE, IMI’s newest AMR project, is creating a drug discovery platform to fast-track the development of promising molecules. The article also highlights IMI project RAPP-ID, which is working on point-of-care tests, as well as a number of US-based initiatives. Looking to the future, the article notes that IMI has a project in development which will investigate new business models and economic strategies to incentivise the development of new antibiotics.
The article concludes: ‘Although the [AMR] crisis is far from resolved, the leadership of the European Commission are to be commended for their far-sighted approach to creating ND4BB and its projects, all of which provide hope that the global community will have access to an adequate pipeline of novel antimicrobial agents with which to address the challenge of AMR.’
EUPATI workshop on patients’ involvement in medicines development
IMI’s Education and Training project EUPATI organised a workshop on 2 April in Warsaw, Poland. The event focused on the project’s efforts to increase the general public’s involvement in medicines’ research and development. Over 150 representatives of patient organisations, academia, industry and regulatory affairs met to discuss how to best increase the general public’s interest in these topics. The input from the workshop will shape EUPATI’s strategy to reach out to and inform at least 100 000 European citizens with interest in health.
EUPATI-sponsored research presented in Warsaw reveals low levels of knowledge of medicine development across Europe but a growing public interest in the area. Ideas and suggestions from the workshop will help to optimise the communications channels for the right audience. Exploiting the growing potential of social media, and using messages that clearly demonstrate the connection between drug development and patient involvement are at the top of the list. EUPATI’s Internet Library, due to be launched towards the end of 2015, should further engage European patients in the process.
- For more information, read the Workshop press release
- Check out the presentations, videos and the Twitter wall of the workshop here
COMBACTE at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
IMI’s antimicrobial resistance project COMBACTE will be present at the 24th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases taking place in Barcelona, Spain from 10 to 13 May 2014. You will have the opportunity to meet and ask questions to the project leaders at the COMBACTE exhibition stand (booth 76). Furthermore, the COMBACTE representatives will present the project and its latest progress during a lunchtime meeting on 11 May from 12.30 to 14.15 at hotel Vincchi Maritimo in Barcelona, 7 minute walk from the ECCMID venue. During the meeting a video that was made to make the project better known and accessible to a wider audience will be launched.
The 24th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases will feature exhibition stands, series of keynote lectures, symposium, educational workshops and meet-the-expert sessions on parallel tracks, covering the entire field of infectious diseases and clinical microbiology.