- IMI launches 3rd and 4th Calls for proposals under IMI 2
- IMI collaborates with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on whooping cough vaccine
- Webinars on IMI 2 - Calls 3 and 4
- Michel Goldman’s bids IMI farewell
- Irene Norstedt named Acting Executive Director of IMI
- C-Path and IMI 2nd Annual Meeting a success
- Nature Reviews Drug Discovery highlights impact of IMI on regulatory science
- News from the projects
- IMI Programme Office closed during holiday period
IMI launches 3rd and 4th Calls for proposals under IMI 2
IMI has launched the 3rd and 4th Calls for proposals under the IMI 2 programme.
The following research and innovation topics are included in IMI 2 - Call 3:
- Remote assessment of disease and relapse (RADAR), topic 1: central nervous system (CNS)
- Assessing risk and progression of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes to enable disease modification
- Linking clinical neuropsychiatry and quantitative neurobiology
- The consistency approach to quality control in vaccine manufacture
- Pertussis vaccination research
- Knowledge Repository to enable patient focused medicine development
Deadline for submitting proposals: 24 March 2015
The following coordination and support action is included in IMI 2 - Call 4:
- Enabling platform on medicines adaptive pathway to patients
Deadline for submitting proposals: 11 February 2015
The IMI Partner Search Tool includes keywords for the 3rd and 4th Call topics, to allow applicants to find partners.
- Find out more about IMI 2 – Call 3
- Find out more about IMI 2 – Call 4
- Read the press release on the call launch
IMI collaborates with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on whooping cough vaccine
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has joined IMI as an Associated Partner for the 3rd Call topic on whooping cough (pertussis) vaccines. Pertussis is an infectious disease caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium and characterised by severe coughing fits. Worldwide, there are around 16 million cases and 195 000 deaths from pertussis in children every year. Vaccines against pertussis do exist, but a resurgence in the number of cases in certain countries is cause for concern. This new project will make it possible to refine current vaccination schedules to make them more effective, and facilitate the development of new and improved vaccine formulations.
‘It is unacceptable that a vaccine-preventable disease like whooping cough remains a leading cause of death for young people around the world,’ said Trevor Mundel, president of Global Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 'We are excited to partner with the Innovative Medicines Initiative in such a critical area of global health research to identify and develop more effective vaccines because when kids are healthier, communities and economies thrive.’
Read the press release on the call launch
Webinars on IMI 2 - Calls 3 and 4
In December 2014 and January 2015 IMI is holding webinars on each topic of the upcoming IMI 2 3rd and 4th Calls for proposals, as well as its new rules and procedures.
All webinars on the Call topics will feature a presentation 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.
The webinar on IMI’s new rules and procedures will also include presentations of IMI's intellectual property policy and tips on the preparation of proposal submissions.
Registration for the webinars is free but obligatory. As places are limited, early registration is recommended. Please register via the IMI website.
Michel Goldman’s bids IMI farewell
Michel Goldman’s last day as Executive Director of IMI was 15 December. In his farewell message he reflected on IMI’s successes and wrote:
‘Before stepping down as Executive Director, I wish to thank all those who made possible the success of the first phase of our public-private partnership. Let's first acknowledge the key contribution of our founding members, the European Commission and EFPIA, which jointly pioneered a new collaborative model to boost innovation in medicines research and development. Of course, warmest thanks are due to the scientists from public institutions, non-profit and private companies as well as patient groups and regulatory authorities who took advantage of this model to develop unprecedented collaborative efforts and deliver impressive results. Above all, I want to express my deepest gratitude to my collaborators at the IMI Programme Office. Together, we have worked hard to exert our role of honest broker that is critical to the success of multi-stakeholder consortia. I am convinced that they will continue to accomplish their mission with the same remarkable commitment under the leadership of Irene Norstedt, their new acting Executive Director.’
Professor Goldman will now work as a Professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where he will develop new research and teaching activities.
Irene Norstedt named Acting Executive Director of IMI
The IMI Governing Board has appointed Irene Norstedt as Acting Executive Director of IMI as of 16 December 2014.
Irene Norstedt comes from the European Commission, where she was Head of the Innovative and Personalised Medicine Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. She has been at the European Commission since 1996, and was instrumental in the creation of IMI back in 2008. Prior to joining the European Commission, she worked at Swedish life science company Biacore AB and at the Swedish embassy in London.
Meanwhile, the recruitment of a new IMI Executive Director is ongoing; the deadline for applications was in July 2014.
C-Path and IMI 2nd Annual Meeting a success
The second IMI-C-Path public conference, ‘Partnerships to Expand the Precompetitive Space’ on 3 December in Bethesda, USA brought together more than 70 government officials, researchers, regulators, and pharmaceutical industry representatives. The meeting was co-chaired by Michel Goldman (Executive Director, IMI) and Martha Brumfield (President & Chief Executive Officer, Critical Path Institute and provided opportunities to discuss how collaborative partnerships could revolutionize the development of drugs, diagnostics and devices. The conference looked at the many models for collaboration and the discussion highlighted the need for continuing to share the ‘lessons learned’ between the various public-private partnerships as well as fully involving the broader life sciences and related research communities. Discussions with panel members from the FDA, fNIH, EMA and others covered three main topics - advanced regulatory science, data-sharing and patient safety biomarkers.
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery highlights impact of IMI on regulatory science
The paper was written by former IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman, IMI Senior Scientific Project Manager Nathalie Seigneuret, and the Senior Medical Officer of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Hans-Georg Eichler.
In it, they highlight several examples of how IMI projects are delivering the science-based evidence regulatory agencies need to take informed decisions. IMI projects are making progress in a wide range of areas with regulatory relevance, including medicines safety, disease classification, assessing the risks and benefits of medicines, and assessing the effectiveness of new medicines under ‘real life’ conditions. The paper highlights the benefits of early interactions with regulators, noting that discussions with IMI projects prompted the EMA to launch consultations in the areas of autism and Alzheimer’s disease treatments. ‘As the IMI continues to serve as a European engine for regulatory science, it will become increasingly important to intensify scientific exchanges with public-private partnerships of a similar nature,’ the paper concludes. ‘Similarly, it will be important to include discussion on how to translate scientific results into the regulatory framework at global conferences in order to align regulatory requirements as much as possible.’
News from the projects
DDMoRe launches new resource for the modelling community
The models describe and predict drug exposure‐response‐relationships in patients across a variety of diseases. The repository currently showcases a range of 'proof of concept' models describing drugs and diseases. Over time, DDMoRe will make available safety models and new models in key therapeutic areas including diabetes, oncology, central nervous system, and infectious diseases. ‘It's open access, so more people will be able to build on the models and cite the original authors' work – that means it’s also helping people who make models receive additional credit for their work,' says DDMoRe repository developer Mihai Glonț of EMBL‐EBI. 'But more importantly, the new repository makes it much easier for modellers to collaborate, so people working in different places can pool their talents to create computer‐based methods for predicting the effects of drugs in a range of conditions.’
EMTRAIN launches major upgrade of on-course
The upgraded site boasts a number of new features designed to make the site more effective and convenient for both course seekers and providers.
The new features include new search filters, an automated search option, a bookmarking option for courses and course providers, and a geographical search using Google maps. For course providers, the upgrade will make it easier to enter and edit course information, allow them to save data at any point, and programme automatic updates to their course information. On-course also has a new look and feel to complement the technical improvements.
On-course is the most comprehensive biomedical and medicines research and development postgraduate course portal in Europe. It offers access to short courses (CPD), Master and PhD programmes offered in the EU and associated countries. Searching and advertising courses in on-course is free of charge. Find out more about what’s new.
Calling young scientists! EMTRAIN PhD Workshop 2015 open for applications
IMI education project EMTRAIN will hold a workshop for young researchers in Beerse, Belgium on 26-29 April 2015.
The theme of the 2015 workshop is translational medicine. The workshop is designed for PhD students enrolled in public-private partnerships (PPPs) and junior postdocs with PPP experience.
The workshop programme includes scientific lectures, interactive seminars, oral presentations from the students and round table discussions with the faculty, and participants are encouraged to use the workshop as an opportunity to share their experiences, network and grow into their role as industry-aware scientists. Previous workshops have been highly successful, with participants stating that they would recommend the event to a friend.
- Details of how to apply or nominate a participant can be found on the EMTRAIN website
- Deadline for applications: 29 January 2015
Did you miss EUPATI’s webinar on patient involvement in clinical research? Catch up online!
The slides and a recording from EUPATI’s first webinar on ‘Improving involvement of patients in clinical research’ are now available online.
During the 5 November event, representatives from patient organisations, universities and the pharmaceutical industry gave presentations on how to best include patients in clinical research, the advantages of patient involvement, and gave examples of patient research in their activities. The webinar also included discussions about challenges and barriers to patient involvement, as well as suggestions on how to overcome these issues.
During the webinar, the outcome of EUPATI’s workshop held in July 2014 was also presented. The presentation provided information on efforts to demonstrate the benefits of patient involvement in R&D, implement a framework for patient involvement, and create relevant key performance indicators.
Open PHACTS Foundation in H2020 project
The Open PHACTS Foundation will participate in a new BigDataEurope project under Horizon 2020. The project aims to integrate existing big data infrastructures into an extendible stack of semantically interoperable, large-scale, multi-lingual data assets.
The Open PHACTS Foundation is a not-for-profit membership organisation that maintains and develops the sustainable, open and interoperable information infrastructure established by IMI’s Open PHACTS project. This includes the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform, which provides users with the ability to query multiple integrated and publicly available data sources, and has seen remarkable growth in usage, surpassing 40 million recorded hits in November 2014.
Part of the Foundation’s role in this new project will involve running pilots on services combining data and functionalities from the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform with other project partners, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The Foundation will also act as a contact point with the life science R&D community, including industry members of the Foundation (currently GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Lilly and Roche), and organise workshops to identify requirements for data and component interoperability among the Open PHACTS API and Discovery Platform, and BigDataEurope's stack and related extensions and plugins.
PharmaTrain Cooperative European Medicines Development Course: applications open
The aim of the course is to train experts who understand the complex process of medicines development from molecule to healthcare and who can apply this knowledge working in large or small companies, regulatory agencies, in health care and health insurance management. The course consists of a basic course of six modules which provide a complete overview of all drug development related topics listed in the Pharmatrain Syllabus. Combined with six further advanced elective modules and followed by a thesis based on scientific work, students will work towards a Masters-level degree in Medicines Development.
The course material was carefully compiled by academic and industry experts to meet the needs of both the pharmaceutical industry and health care and covers three main areas: drug development and clinical trials; regulatory affairs and safety of medicines; health care and professionalism. The joint course is offered by 10 cooperating regional universities and is coordinated by the Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.
- The course will begin in the first half of 2015
- Deadline for applications: 31 January 2015
- Further information about the course is available on the CEMDC website
IMI Programme Office closed during holiday period
The IMI Programme Office will be closed from 24 December 2014 to 2 January 2015 inclusive. During that time, urgent enquiries should be sent to:
- antoine.cuvillier[AT]imi.europa.eu (24-28 December)
- ewa.zettergren[AT]imi.europa.eu (29 December – 2 January)
Non-urgent enquiries can be sent to Infodesk[AT]imi.europa.eu – these will be dealt with when the office reopens on 5 January 2015.