Save the date! 4th Call Open Info Day, Brussels, 17 June
IMI warmly encourages small and medium-sized enterprises, patient organisations, regulatory authorities, academic teams, industry, hospitals and other organisations with an interest in IMI projects to take part in the IMI Open Info Day. Attendees will have the opportunity to directly interact with the coordinators of the topics of IMI’s 4th Call for proposals, which will be launched soon. The Open Info Day will feature workshops on the different Call topics, as well as more general presentations on how to apply for IMI funding. There will be extensive networking opportunities with IMI staff and representatives of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).
Registration will open shortly. For more information on the event, visit the IMI website.
4th Call topic webinars
For people who can’t make it to the Open Info Day, IMI will organise webinars dedicated to each of the 4th Call topics. The webinars will last around 1 hour and will feature presentations by the 4th Call Topic Coordinators and include time for questions and answers. The webinars will be held in the second half of June. Keep an eye on the Events page of the IMI website for the latest news on the dates, times and topics of the webinars.
4th Call countdown
The 4th Call topics are now being finalised and the Call is scheduled for launch soon. Indicative topics and a timeline for the 4th Call can be found on the IMI website. Please note that all information regarding the 4th Call is subject to change. Once the topics have been approved by the IMI Governing Board, the Call will be formally launched and the finalised topics will be placed on the IMI website.
Stakeholder Forum 2011 a success
IMI attracted a good crowd to its 2011 Stakeholder Forum on Thursday 12 May in Budapest, Hungary as part of the World of Health IT (WoHIT) eHealth week. The event kicked off with a plenary session, jointly organised by IMI and the European Commission’s Information Society, on how knowledge and data management can trigger innovation in healthcare and drug development. Subsequent sessions featured presentations by leading scientists of the first achievements of ongoing IMI projects as well as an overview of IMI’s plans for the future and a glance at IMI’s forthcoming 4th Call for proposals. In addition, IMI had a stand at the WoHIT exhibition and Executive Director Michel Goldman gave a number of interviews to the press.
Presentations from the event are now available on the IMI website.
Michel Goldman on IMI’s experiences in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery
The journal Nature Reviews Drug Discovery recently published an article by IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman on IMI’s experiences and lessons learned. ‘Medical advances are likely to be increasingly dependent on collaborative networks such as those established through the IMI,’ the article concludes. ‘The first lessons learned from the IMI indicate that if research programmes are carefully selected and issues related to [intellectual property] properly addressed, public-private partnerships that are dedicated to precompetitive research and development can offer the appropriate instruments to enable this approach to shape the future of medicine.’
New IMI publications now out
Stakeholder Forum attendees will have noticed that IMI has produced a new brochure explaining who we are and what we do. In addition, we have updated the IMI leaflet to include the indicative 4th Call topics.
Both can be downloaded from the Documents page of the IMI website.
News from the projects
- U-BIOPRED recruits first adult into major asthma study
IMI project U-BIOPRED has recruited the first of over 1 000 people into a major new study of severe asthma. U-BIOPRED researchers will draw on data from blood and tissue samples, lung function tests, exhaled air samples and examinations of the airways, plus reports of people’s own experiences, to build up a detailed picture (or ‘handprint’) of each individual’s condition. By comparing data from hundreds of people, the team hopes to identify groups of patients with similar handprints. These groups will allow researchers to define different kinds of severe asthma, paving the way towards personalised treatments for patients. U-BIOPRED project coordinator Peter Sterk of the University of Amsterdam said that running such a study would have been “unthinkable” without IMI.
- Eu2P – applications for courses now open
IMI Education & Training project Eu2P has launched its online application tool for its Certificate and Master courses in pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology. Certificates are available in a wide range of subject areas and run over 9 weeks (for a standard certificate) or 18 weeks (for an extended certificate). The Masters course offers six curricula that address the professional needs of key specialisations in pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology. The application period runs until 20 June for the Masters course and 19 August for the Certificates. The first courses will start in September this year. Courses are delivered largely online using interactive web technologies. In 2011, the Masters course is only open to people wishing to embark directly on the Master Year 2. Applications for the Master Year 1 and the Eu2P PhD programme will be launched in April 2012.
- IMI project Open PHACTS on the value of data
Researchers from the Open PHACTS project have published a paper in Nature Genetics that proposes representing data and assertions in the form of nanopublications. The nanopublication is the smallest unit of publication and is essentially a single assertion and its associated data and material. According to the team, using nanopublications will make it easier to place a value on data, support research by tapping into vast, interoperable reserves of information, and also make it easier for scientists and others to follow up individual assertions or develop hypotheses. Open PHACTS will test the nanopublication concept to create an Open Pharmacological Space (OPS). In the OPS, a layer of data and text extraction methods is placed over existing data of different kinds (e.g. rough data, processed datasets and literature). The methods allow close to real time updates of nanopublications from these databases and make them publicly available via the OPS, but do not interfere with local database management. ‘The Open PHACTS consortium thus creates an extra, computer readable layer that works across previously isolated datasets,’ explains the lead author of the paper, Barend Mons of Leiden University Medical Center and the Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre.
- eTOX in heart toxicity test breakthrough
Scientists in the IMI project eTOX have developed a computer model to test potential medicines for cardiotoxicity. Currently, many promising drug candidates fail because they turn out to cause serious heart problems in patients. The new eTOX system should help researchers pick up on these problems earlier on in the drug development process. Users simply have to enter the molecular formula of the compound into the tool, and the system generates a simulated ECG (electrocardiograph). Clinicians routinely use ECGs to diagnose heart problems in their patients; in the same way, users can study the simulated ECG generated by the eTOX system to determine whether or not a compound is toxic to the heart. ‘It provides better results than the currently used computational systems,’ commented eTOX project coordinator Ferran Sanz of Fundació IMIM in Spain. Details of the new tool are published in the Journal of Chemical Information and Modelling.
IMI presentations at forthcoming conferences
Below is an overview of some forthcoming events where staff from the IMI Executive Office will present IMI’s work and achievements.
- Swiss National Information Event on IMI
Basel, Switzerland, 4 August
IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman and Legal Officer Magali Poinot will give presentations on the IMI 4th Call and the legal and financial aspects of IMI project proposals respectively.
Event website: http://www.euresearch.ch/index.php?id=11&tx_seminars_pi1[showUid]=864