IMI 2 – Call 3 deadline approaching: 24 March
IMI 2 – Call 3 is still open for submission of proposals – the deadline is 24 March 2015. Topics under the Call are:
- Remote assessment of disease and relapse (RADAR) - CNS
- Towards a quantitative biological approach for neuropsychiatry
- Assessing risk and progression of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes to enable disease modification
- The consistency approach to quality control in vaccine manufacture
- Pertussis vaccination research
- Knowledge repository to enable patient focused medicine development
All Call documents, including a Q&A, can be found on the IMI 2 – Call 3 web page.
Information on the Calls can also be found in the webinar presentations.
Got questions on IMI 2 – Call 3? Contact us!
With the IMI 2 – Call 3 deadline looming, here are the IMI Programme Office’s top tips for applicants:
- Read all the Call documents (including the Call text and the rules and procedures) and make sure you understand them. Understanding these documents is really key to submitting a successful proposal.
- Contact us if you have any questions via Infodesk[AT]imi.europa.eu.
Helping applicants understand the topics and our rules and procedures is our job. Frequently asked questions for the RADAR topic can be found online.
- Make sure your consortium includes all the expertise needed to fulfil the requirements of the topic. You can find project partners through IMI’s Partner Search Tool.
- Finally, make sure you submit your proposal as indicated in our submission tool SOFIA and don’t miss the deadline – SOFIA will close at 17:00 Central European Time (CET / Brussels time) on 24 March 2015. If you have technical difficulties in SOFIA, contact us.
IMI at major Alzheimer’s disease conference
IMI and its Alzheimer’s disease projects AETIONOMY, EMIF and EPAD will hold a symposium entitled ‘From data to mechanisms to therapies for patients' at the 12th International Conference on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases and Related Neurological Disorders (AD/PD 2015) in Nice, France on Thursday 19 March 2015.
It is increasingly recognised that collaboration, between industry, academia, patient groups, regulators and others, is essential if we are to take on the biggest challenges in medical research. This session spotlights how public-private partnerships on both sides of the Atlantic are harnessing the power of collaboration to drive progress in diverse aspects of Alzheimer’s disease research and drug development. In Europe, the AETIONOMY, EMIF and EPAD projects form the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) Alzheimer’s Disease Platform, a coherent research platform that will ensure ideas are shared and rapidly turned from data into mechanisms and, ultimately, new therapies for patients. The three IMI projects also work closely with related initiatives, including the UK Dementias Platform and the Global Alzheimer’s Platform.
COMBACTE-MAGNET project gets underway
The COMBACTE-MAGNET project has got underway with the goal of contributing to efforts to tackle certain types of drug-resistant infections. Specifically, the 7 year, €167 million project will investigate a new approach to preventing respiratory infections in patients in intensive care units and new treatment options for patients with life-threatening infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria. The project will also trial two new medicines: MedImmune’s MED3902 and AiCuris’s AIC499. More broadly, the project will build on the clinical trial and laboratory networks established by COMBACTE and set up a new network called EPI-Net. EPI-Net will map and draw on existing surveillance systems in Europe to optimally describe the epidemiology of antibiotic resistance and healthcare associated infections.
IMI mentioned in US House of Representatives white paper
IMI is cited in a US House of Representatives white paperon the ‘21st Century Cures initiative’. Launched in 2014 by the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee, the 21st Century Cures initiative sees members of the House studying what steps can be taken to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of cures. While acknowledging that a lot of work is being carried out in industry, academia and government, the paper states: ‘What is missing is a public-private partnership that brings together these various players to develop a strategic research agenda; facilitate collaboration; identify gaps and opportunities across this cycle; and award competitive grants for activities that accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of innovative cures, treatments, and preventative measures for patients in the U.S.’ The paper then sets out plans for legislation establishing a public-private partnership known as the 21st Century Cures Consortium that would be modelled after IMI.
News from the projects
COMBACTE clinical trial of new antibiotic gets underway
The first patient has been enrolled into a clinical trial of a novel antibiotic run by IMI’s COMBACTE project. The patient, who is based in Belgium, is the first participant in a Phase II trial of a medicine called MEDI4893, which is designed to prevent Staphyolococcus aureus pneumonia in intensive care patients who need a machine to help them breathe. S. aureus is a common cause of hospital-associated infections and drug-resistant strains of the bacteria have been identified. MEDI4893, which was developed by pharmaceutical company MedImmune, works by targeting a toxin produced by S. aureus. The enrolment of the first patient in the trial is the result of months of hard work on the part of the project partners, who come from academia and industry and worked closely together to set up the study. ‘An increase in emergence of antimicrobial resistance and a steady decline in the number of novel antimicrobials being developed across industry have significantly limited treatment options for diseases like pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus,’ said MedImmune’s Hasan Jafri, EFPIA Lead for the study.’ Novel biologics under investigation such as MEDI4893 may offer a unique opportunity to help prevent these serious infections without inducing antimicrobial resistance. We believe collaboration with world-renowned experts such as those within COMBACTE is one of the best models to advance development in this area, and supports our commitment to bring novel and effective anti-infectives to patients.’
Read the project’s press release.
EU-AIMS study suggests eye movement in babies linked to autism risk
Babies who move their eyes more often when looking at a picture are more likely to go on to develop autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as children, according to new research supported by IMI’s EU-AIMS project. Although the research is in the early stages, the findings could help to identify babies at risk of ASD. In the study, scientists used eye tracking technology to assess how often babies aged six to eight months moved their eyes when looking at a (still) picture. Around half the babies in the study had an older sibling with ASD and so were at a higher risk of developing ASD themselves. The research revealed that while typical babies move their eyes on average twice a second, babies that went on to develop autism moved their eyes more often – around three times a second. Furthermore, typical babies assessed the picture in a similar way to adults, with an initial quick scan of the picture (with frequent eye movements) followed by a phase characterised by less frequent movements. In contrast, the babies at a higher risk of developing ASD did not change the way they looked at the picture over time.
Find out more in this Medical Research Council Press Release.
Find out how the European Lead Factory can help you
IMI’s European Lead Factory project will demonstrate how its services can help to boost the drug discovery programmes of diverse organisations at a free workshop on 25 March at the SLAS Conference on Compound Management in Dortmund, Germany. The event will spotlight the extensive drug target screening and compound synthesis resources now available through the European Lead Factory. As such, it offers attendees an excellent opportunity to think about their target assay development and compound library design plans. Meanwhile the panel will be able to answer questions on the wider role of crowdsourced innovation and on working within extended public-private partnerships.
The European Lead Factory currently comprises a 350 000-compound screening collection originating from private partners or synthesised by public partners, as well as a screening centre that is accepting proposals for screening programmes. The first screens have already been completed and feedback from users is highly positive.
- Register to attend the workshop
- Find out how to submit a proposal for a target or scaffold
- Learn more about the European Lead Factory’s successes in its latest newsletter
IMI projects working on a new way of defining diseases
The work of IMI’s PRECISESADS and AETIONOMY projects on disease taxonomy is spotlighted in a new Nature Reviews Discovery comment piece. Currently, most diseases are still defined largely on the basis of their symptoms, yet while two patients may share the same diagnosis, the underlying causes of their symptoms may be very different. This means that a treatment that works in one patient may prove ineffective in another. The AETIONOMY and PRECISESADS projects are pioneering a new approach to the classification of disease; for AETIONOMY, in the field of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and for PRECISESADS, in the field of systemic autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus). Although the projects are tackling the problem in different ways, their overall goal is the same: to pave the way towards a new taxonomy of disease that is based on the underlying causes of disease. In the long term, this will help to diagnose patients more accurately and provide them with a treatment that works for them.
NEWMEDS adds new features to DupCheck tool
IMI’s NEWMEDS project on schizophrenia and depression has developed a number of new features for its DupCheck tool, which allows those running a clinical trial in any area of medicine to check if a patient is already enrolled in another trial elsewhere. DupCheck works globally. The issue of duplicate enrolment in trials is important for patients and trial organisers alike. For patients, interactions between experimental drugs could be harmful and even fatal. For those running the clinical trial, avoiding multiple trial enrolments also helps to ensure the validity of the trial results – a patient could be given the placebo in one trial and an active ingredient for the same condition in another. Alternatively, if a patient is taking active treatments in two trials, both trials will attribute any improvements (or adverse reactions) to their own trial drug. In DupCheck, all patient data is encrypted and access to the site is restricted to those working on clinical trials.
DupCheck’s features now include:
- DupCheck provides real time information on attempted duplicate enrolment at time of screening.
- Users can screen for previous participation in a trial of investigational drug.
- DupCheck can be linked to existing electronic data capture systems—eliminating additional data entry—and run in the background.
- DupCheck provides sponsors with one-click, real-time data on screening by site.
Trial sponsors can enrol at www.dupcheck.org.
ENABLE Calls for antibacterial programmes: next deadline March 27
IMI’s antimicrobial resistance project ENABLE has a rolling programme of Open Calls for promising Gram-negative antibiotic programmes, and the next deadline for submissions is on 27 March 2015. If you have an interesting Gram-negative programme that targets Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and/or Acinetobacter baumannii and that meets the minimum activity thresholds specified within the call text, this is an opportunity to join the ENABLE project. Selected programmes can join the ENABLE consortium and gain access to the ENABLE discovery pipeline, which can develop a programme through to phase I clinical trials and significantly accelerate your work. Following earlier Calls, the project has started three programmes, with a further two due to start soon.
Details of how to apply can be found on the Open Calls page of the ENABLE website.
Questions? Contact opencall[AT]nd4bb-enable.eu.