IMI 2 – Call 2 indicative topics released
Preliminary information on the topics scheduled for launch under the second Call for proposals under IMI 2 is now available on the Future Topics page. Currently, the following topics are under consideration for inclusion in the Call:
- RADAR: Remote assessment of disease and relapse
- Assessing risk and progression of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes to enable disease modification
- Towards a quantitative biological approach for neuropsychiatry
- The consistency approach to Quality Control in vaccine manufacture
- Patient knowledge repository to enable patient focused medicine development
- Pertussis vaccination research
IMI 2 – Call 2 is scheduled for launch in December. The topics will be presented briefly during the Open Info Day on 30 September. More information on the topics will be released closer to the Call launch.
All information regarding future Calls for proposals is indicative and subject to the approval of the IMI Governing Board.
IMI 2 Open Info Day – follow the event online
The IMI 2 Open Info Day on 30 September will be broadcast live online, giving people who can’t make it to Brussels the opportunity to follow the full programme, including the workshops, in real time. The link to access this will be provided via the IMI event web page. Participants following the broadcast will also have the opportunity to ask questions via the online moderated chat room for each session.
- Download the agenda
IMI & C-Path to debate PPPs in US
Following a successful joint meeting in Brussels in early 2013, IMI and the US-based Critical Path Institute (C-Path) are organising a second joint meeting on 3 December 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland, US. With the number of collaborations between industry, regulatory agencies, academia and patient groups on the rise, there is growing interest in the role that public-private partnerships (PPPs) play in delivering innovative tools and methodologies for medical product development.
This second conference co-sponsored by the IMI and C-Path will feature speakers from many sectors discussing challenges and opportunities in the rapidly-evolving PPP space. The goal of this conference is to identify mechanisms for assessing the productivity of PPPs, coordinating individual PPP efforts to avoid duplication, and adopting best practices on data sharing and other cross-cutting issues in order to streamline medicines development worldwide.
News from the projects
ABIRISK haemophilia paper wins prize
A paper by scientists from IMI project ABIRISK won the clinical research award at the Seventh Edition of the Martín Villar Research Awards. The awards, named after Spanish haematologist Martín Villar, recognise research published by young scientists working in the field of blood coagulation and related disorders, such as haemophilia. Many medicines are based on biological molecules such as proteins and monoclonal antibodies. These novel drugs have resulted in new, more effective treatments for many conditions including haemophilia, a serious disease in which the blood fails to clot following injury. Yet sometimes these medicines trigger a response from the patient’s immune system, and this can decrease the effectiveness of the drug or cause severe side effects. The ABIRISK project is investigating the causes of this immune response. In this paper, the researchers identify for the first time variations in a specific gene that are associated with a strong immune response to the haemophilia treatment Factor VIII. Around 30% of haemophilia A patients develop an immune response to Factor VIII treatment, and the researchers suggest that their findings could pave the way for new ways of preventing the immune system from blocking the action of Factor VIII.
U-BIOPRED’s latest findings in the spotlight at major respiratory congress
IMI project U-BIOPRED is making great strides towards its goal of identifying distinct subtypes of severe asthma, something that will ultimately help to pave the way for personalised treatments for this serious health problem. The project presented a number of its findings at the recent European Respiratory Society Congress in Munich, Germany. U-BIOPRED highlights from the event include:
- initial evidence of distinct groups of patients in the U-BIOPRED study;
- an association between certain genetic variants and clinical traits;
- using an electronic nose to analyse the exhaled breath of children with asthma could identify different subtypes of asthma in children;
- the flu virus appears to exacerbate asthma more than the cold virus.
Links to these abstracts and more can be found on U-BIOPRED’s Twitter feed. Patients have been key in driving U-BIOPRED’s successes, and U-BIOPRED patient experts were also in attendance at the ERS Congress. One patient, Martine Puhl, recorded her experiences in two reports on the opening ceremony and the U-BIOPRED symposium.
PROactive researcher wins COPD award
Professor Milo Puhan, a researcher from IMI’s PROactive project on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been awarded the European Respiratory Society (ERS) COPD Research Award 2014. The €50 000 award goes to a young researcher who is active in, and has made an outstanding contribution to COPD research.
Professor Puhan is based at the Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Prevention Institute, University of Zurich, and his research focuses on measurements that characterise COPD patients, on the effects of COPD treatments, and on statistical models for predicting and monitoring chronic disease. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) refers to a group of lung diseases that cause obstruction of the airways and breathing difficulties. Patients may experience breathlessness, wheezing and a persistent cough. The PROactive project is developing tools to integrate the patient’s experience with physical activity to evaluate the effectiveness of new interventions taking a patient-centred perspective.
Coming soon – the EUPATI e-learning website!
IMI’s patient education EUPATI is counting down to the launch of its e-learning platform in October. When launched, the platform will be used by the students who have been accepted onto EUPATI’s Expert Level training course. The platform is already up and running in beta and is currently populated with the learning materials for the Expert Patient online course. The layouts and navigation of the platform, which is built using open-source learning platform Moodle, have undergone testing by community users, and the online course materials are now undergoing a thorough review to verify both the information included and the teaching strategies used.
The EUPATI Expert Training Course will combine online and face-to-face teaching to train patient experts in medicines development. The project received over 300 applications for the first course intake, of which only 55 could be admitted. Applications for next year’s course will open in Spring 2015.
Open PHACTS on track for sustainability
The Open PHACTS project has taken further steps along the path to sustainability for its outputs by launching a new version of its drug discovery platform and ensuring the long-term financial and technical viability of the infrastructure. Open PHACTS has developed a powerful cloud-based data platform that allows scientists to draw on diverse databases to answer all kinds of questions relating to drug development. The new version of the platform provides access to two additional data sets and also provides extra information on compounds. Elsewhere, the Open PHACTS Foundation has ensured the sustainability of the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform by funding secure hosting and organising the ongoing technical development of the infrastructure. Looking to the future, the project is now ready to tackle new scientific challenges and use cases by integrating commercial data sources and proprietary in-house data into its platform, adding more platform functionalities, and enhancing connections with workflow tools and engaging existing and upcoming IMI projects and initiatives.