IMI 4th Call officially launched
IMI’s 4th Call for proposals has now officially been launched. The confirmed list of topics is as follows. Note that the EMIF topic includes significant opportunities for experts in obesity (both in children and adults) and Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
EU Medical Information System
1. Building up a European Medical Information Framework (EMIF) of patient-level data to support a wide range of medical research. This Call theme consists of three topics:
i. Information Framework / Knowledge Management Service Layer
ii. Metabolic complications of obesity
iii. Protective and precipitating markers for the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias
2. eTRIKS: European Translational Information & Knowledge Management Services
Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control
3. Delivery and targeting mechanisms for biological macromolecules
4. In vivo predictive biopharmaceutics tools for oral drug delivery
5. Sustainable Chemistry – delivering medicines for the 21st century
Technology and Molecular Disease Understanding
6. Human Induced Pluripotent Stem (hiPS) cells for drug discovery and safety assessment
7. Understanding and optimising binding kinetics in drug discovery
The total amount of funding available under the 4th Call stands at EUR 105 million.
The deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest is 18 October 2011.
The final version of the Call text, the rules for participation and the forms that need to be filled in can be found on the IMI website.
If you have any questions about the Call, please contact IMI at infodesk AT imi.europa.eu.
IMI Partner Search tool now online
IMI’s Partner Search tool has been updated to reflect the 4th Call topics and is now accessible online. Through the tool, researchers from all sectors can search for potential partners and submit their own details and areas of expertise for inclusion in the system.
4th Call Open Info Day a success
Over 200 people attended the IMI 4th Call Open Info Day in Brussels on 17 June. In addition to researchers from academia and industry, the event attracted some 40 representatives from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as people from National Contact Points (NCPs), patients’ organisations and governments. The day included an overview of IMI’s funding and intellectual property (IP) rules, tips and testimonies from people involved in ongoing IMI projects, and presentations of the 4th Call topics by the Project Coordinators. In addition, there were plenty of networking opportunities during lunch and tea/coffee breaks. IMI staff were also on hand to answer questions relating to the 4th Call. The presentations can be downloaded here and videos of the sessions can be viewed on IMI’s YouTube channel.
IMI signs MoU with Critical Path Institute
IMI and the US-based Critical Path Institute (C-Path) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the goal of furthering the missions of both organisations. IMI and C-Path share the goal of speeding up the development of safer, more effective medicines for patients. In addition, both organisations support public-private partnerships comprising scientists from the pharmaceutical industry and academic institutions, as well as representatives from patient organisations, SMEs and regulatory agencies. By combining their knowledge and expertise in innovative projects, the scientists in these projects are able to tackle challenges that are too big and complex for individual research teams to handle on their own. Through the MoU, IMI and C-Path declare their intention to find opportunities to leverage one another’s work in order to accelerate progress and prevent duplication of efforts.
- Read the joint press release
News from the projects
- PROactive – picking up on patients’ perceptions of COPD
The IMI project PROactive is developing new ways of gauging the impacts of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on patients’ daily lives. While current activity tests tell doctors what patients can manage in theory, they do not reveal what patients are actually doing on a day-to-day basis or how patients feel about their activity levels. Through interviews with patients, PROactive has found that patients consider three aspects of physical activity to be important to overall quality of life: the amount of physical activity (e.g. how far someone can walk), the symptoms triggered by the activity (e.g. shortness of breath or fatigue) and the way the patient copes with these symptoms (e.g. stopping to rest every few minutes). Based on the findings, the PROactive team has developed some questions that capture the impacts of COPD on patients’ quality of life. The team now plans to create a tool that combines these questions with input from activity monitors (small external devices that measure activity levels and are worn by the patient) to accurately assess physical activity levels from the patients’ point of view. The tool could be used by physicians and researchers alike to test the efficacy of treatments, for example. The tool could also be adapted for other chronic conditions that affect physical activity.
- Major kidney ‘SAFE-T’ studies get underway
The IMI project SAFE-T has enrolled the first patients into 4 major studies that aim to boost scientists’ ability to determine whether or not a potential drug will be toxic to the kidney. Drug-induced kidney injury is a serious problem in drug development and the treatment of patients. All too often, currently-used tests only detect kidney damage when it is already irreversible. The new SAFE-T studies aim to assess the potential of biological markers (biomarkers) that could allow doctors and researchers to detect kidney damage while it is still in the early stages. People participating in the studies include patients treated with medicines known to be toxic to the kidney; people with kidney diseases; and kidney transplant recipients who take immunosuppressant drugs that could be harmful to the kidney. According to the team, putting together studies of this scale would not have been possible without intense interdisciplinary and cross-institutional collaboration. The first results from the studies are expected in six to nine months. In addition to drug-induced kidney injury, SAFE-T researchers are also working on improving tests to pick up on drug-induced liver and vascular problems. Large-scale studies in these areas have also been initiated by the consortium.
- U-BIOPRED asthma art contest winner announced
Dutch student Marije Kootstra has been named as the winner of the U-BIOPRED asthma art contest. The winning painting can be seen on the U-BIOPRED website. ‘Asthma plays an important role in my life,’ explains Marije, who is 17. In order to control her condition, she takes 10 medicines, sees a specialist regularly and has undergone a nose operation as well as other treatments. Yet despite these efforts, Marije’s asthma is still not fully under control; in poor weather, she cannot cycle to school and so misses classes. She has even been hospitalised following severe asthma attacks. Nevertheless, Marije remains hopeful for the future. ‘I hope that with the right medicines I can again get my asthma back under control,’ she says. Marije wins a trip for two to Amsterdam, where she will pick up her prize at the opening ceremony of the European Respiratory Society meeting in September. U-BIOPRED is working to speed up the development of new, more effective treatments for severe asthma. Patients are strongly represented in the project through the participation of six patients’ organisations.
- Knowledge management, the (tran)smart way
Knowledge management is key to the success of many IMI projects, and the tranSMART system is proving a popular tool for this. TranSMART is a translational medicine platform based on open source software and data that was originally developed by Johnson & Johnson for its own projects. However, it quickly became clear that the system could be extremely useful for other groups. Today, tranSMART is used by research consortia on both sides of the Atlantic. The first IMI project to use tranSMART was U-BIOPRED, which is using it to collate data on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from four different companies, for example. Eventually, U-BIOPRED partners will be able to access the data and use it to test new hypotheses. Other ongoing projects that are implementing or about to implement tranSMART are OncoTrack, SAFE-T and BT Cure; some of the 3rd Call projects are also planning to use the system. Looking to the future, the 4th Call topic eTRIKS (European Translational Information & Knowledge Management Services) will support efforts to take tranSMART to the next level.
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.
- 3rd Annual Predictive Toxicology
Berlin, Germany, 14-16 September
Maria Teresa De Magistris, IMI Principal Scientific Manager, will give a talk on IMI’s work.
Event website: http://www.marcusevans.com/marcusevans-conferences-event-details.asp?EventID=18068
- European Association for Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine (EPMA) World Congress
Bonn, Germany, 16 September
IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman will speak during a round table session on national & international
strategies and granting in predictive, preventive and personalised medicine (PPPM).
Event website: http://www.epmanet.eu/index.php/world-congress
- Safety Pharmacology Society Annual Meeting
Innsbruck, Austria, 20 September
During a session entitled ‘Bridging Safety Assessment between Academic Regulators and Industry’, IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman will give a presentation on IMI’s role as an interface between industry and academia.
Event website: http://www.safetypharmacology.org/am2011/index.asp
- Societal Impact of Pain symposium
Hamburg, Germany, 23 September
IMI Principal Scientific Manager Elisabetta Vaudano will give a talk entitled ‘Europain – understanding chronic pain and improving its treatment in Europe’.
Event website: http://www2.kenes.com/efic/Pages/Home.aspx