Drug Disease Model Resources


Start Date
End Date
IMI1 - Call 2
Grant agreement number

IMI Funding
10 399 426
EFPIA in kind
10 616 336
2 244 027
Total Cost23 259 789


Model based-drug development (MBDD) is accepted as a vital approach in understanding patient risk/benefit and attrition. At the core of MBDD lies Modelling and Simulation (M&S), a technology providing the basis for informed, quantitative decision-making.

M&S facilitates the continuous integration of available information related to a drug or disease into constantly evolving mathematical models capable of describing and predicting the behaviour of studied systems to address the questions researchers, regulators and public health care bodies face when bringing drugs to patients. The full adoption of MBDD is perturbed by a lack of common tools, languages and ontologies for M&S, which often leads to inefficient reuse of data and duplication of effort by academic, industrial and regulatory stakeholders.

The Drug Disease Model Resources (DDMoRe) consortium strategy will have standards as its core: a newly developed common definition language for data, models and workflows, along with an ontology-based standard for storage and transfer of models and associated metadata.

A drug and disease model library will be developed as a public resource. Its flexibility and power will be showcased by the addition of “proof of concept” drug and disease models from key therapeutic areas such as diabetes and oncology.

An open-source interoperability framework will be the backbone for the integration of M&S applications into seamless standardized but flexible workflows. Initially, currently-used tools (e.g. NONMEM,WinBUGS, Matlab, R) will be integrated into the framework.

From the outset resources will also be dedicated to new application development which will be steered by identified gaps in the M&S software ecosystem. The DDMoRe project’s standards and tools –intended as the gold standard for future collaborative drug and disease M&S - will be supported by comprehensive training and will be made publicly accessible.

The DDMoRe consortium draws together its expert partners from across Europe including 5 SMEs and 9 academic partners who will be working together to accomplish the aims of the project with 10 EFPIA companies.  

Achievements & News

Learn more about DDMoRe at the PAGE workshop
IMI’s DDMoRe project will hold a workshop in Lisbon, Portugal on 7 June 2016 as part of the 25th Populations Approach Group Europe (PAGE) meeting. The theme of the DDMoRe workshop is ‘Get inspired … get started … get into the world of DDMoRe’. ### As such, the one-day event will consist of presentations and hands-on sessions to familiarise participants with the different elements of the DDMoRe platform. The diverse products will be demonstrated live with real model examples, showing the different elements and intended workflows. The added value of the products to efficiently apply model-based approaches and knowledge exchange - supporting the concept Model Informed Drug Discovery and Development (MID3) - will be discussed in the closing session of the workshop. Information from a wide array of sources can be integrated into models to describe and predict the behaviour of complex disease/biological systems and drug actions. The goal of the DDMoRe platform is to improve the quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness of model-informed decision making in drug development and therapeutic use of marketed drugs.

DDMoRe platform to help scientists share info
The IMI project DDMoRe has launched a new, open source platform that allows researchers to simply and reliably share drug and disease models with one another. ### Scientists often use computer-based tools to simulate both diseases and the impacts of drugs on them. DDMoRe’s new interoperability framework uses new standards and connectors for many commonly-used programming tools and languages. As such, the interoperability framework provides a consistent environment in which researchers can work, using modelling tools they know, while opening up their work to others through a standard language for describing models. The framework is free to download and the project is keen to get feedback from users. ‘We are excited to see how new opportunities for collaboration will develop now that this platform is available for stakeholders such as academia, industry and health  authorities,’ commented DDMoRe Scientific Officer Wendy Aartsen.‘ We are very keen to involve anyone with an interest in the use or further development of the platform.’ To complement this release, the DDMoRe repository enables access to curated and shared knowledge for the benefit of model-informed drug discovery, development (MID3) and therapeutic use. As of today, more than 60 models are available to the public; all are free to download and ready to be used. (January 2016) 

Sign up for the DDMoRe course on model-informed drug development in oncology
July 2015 - Registration is open for a DDMoRE project course on model-informed drug development in oncology which will be held in Pavia, Italy on 7-11 September 2015. ###The programme covers model-informed drug development in the area of oncology and will include a two-day introduction to the DDMoRe framework (new modelling & simulation language, model repository, interoperability platform). The course will feature lectures, hands-on sessions, student group work, workshops, and student presentations. The course is intended primarily for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows doing research in the quantitative life sciences field. The most important prerequisite is a willingness to actively participate in the course and give constructive feedback to further improve the DDMoRe developments.
 - Deadline for applications: 3 August 2015
 - Details of how to apply
can be found on the DDMoRe website

DDmore’s PharmML, a flexible format for model exchange
June 2015 - PharmML stands for Pharmacometrics Markup Language, and the new exchange format for encoding of models in pharmacometrics is spotlighted in a new article in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics: Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology (CPT:PSP). PharmML was developed by IMI’s DDMoRe project and is a key component of DDMoRe’s platformPharmML-encoded models can be deposited in the DDMoRe repository, helping researchers collaborate ###on models to improve the design of cost effective, reliable clinical trials of new and repurposed drugs. Pharmacometric modelling is essential for designing cost-effective, reliable clinical trials to test new or repurposed medicines, but until now it has been difficult for researchers to pool their knowledge and develop these models collaboratively between organisations. PharmML, developed at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), is helping researchers collaborate on computational models of disease and drug action. Read the press release. Learn more in the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics: Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology (CPT:PSP)

DDMoRe to hold workshop during the 24th PAGE meeting
April 2015 - DDMoRe will hold a workshop during the 24th PAGE meeting in Crete, Greece on 2 June 2015. Using real model examples from the pharmaceutical industry and academic world, DDMoRe consortium partners will give an overview of the project’s concept and demonstrate its platform. ###Information from a wide array of sources can be integrated into models to describe and predict the behaviour of complex disease/biological systems and drug actions. The goal of the DDMoRe platform is to improve the quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness of model-informed decision making in drug development and therapeutic use of marketed drugs. The added value of DDMoRe and how it can support Model Informed Drug Discovery and Development (MID3) and Model Informed Patient Care (MIPC) will be discussed. The elements that make up the DDMoRe platform are the Model Repository, Model Certification, Exchange Standards, Interoperability Framework, Pharmacometric Workflow and Training. The workshop is free of charge and registration is now open.

DDMoRe to run course on models in drug development
January 2015 - The DDMoRe project is launching a series of courses introducing the principles of model-informed drug development, covering a range of therapeutic areas, via the newly-developed DDMoRe interoperability framework platform. ###The first course, ‘Model-informed drug development in oncology (beginners)’ will be held in Berlin in March. Designed for PhD students and postdocs, the course will cover model-informed anti-cancer drug development and will include an introduction to the DDMoRe framework (new modelling & simulation language, model repository, interoperability platform. The week long course will include lectures, group work, and student presentations. The DDMoRe project is working to build and maintain a universally applicable, open source, model based framework, intended as the gold standard for future collaborative drug and disease modelling & simulation.

DDMoRe launches new resource for the modelling community
December 2014 - The Drug Disease Model Resources (DDMoRe) project has launched a repository which members of the modelling community can now use to store and access an assortment of computational models. ### The models describe and predict drug exposureresponserelationships 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.’

DDMoRe launches new modelling languages
January 2014 - IMI data management project DDMoRe has launched a suite of new computer modelling languages designed to facilitate quantitative decision-making at all stages of drug development. Among other things, the project has developed ###a universal Modelling Description Language (MDL), which describes models and related tasks and is designed to be easily read and written by scientists. Related to the MDL are an Integrated Development Environment (MDL-IDE) and a new exchange language standard called the Pharmacometrics Markup Language (PharmML). The MDL-IDE provides a user-friendly framework where MDL code can be created and edited, while the new markup language PharmML will make it easier to exchange and reuse models/objects, annotations, and associated tasks. MDL, MDL-IDE, and PharmML are all under active development and the project is keen to gather feedback on these first releases from users outside the DDMoRe project.
  - Read the DDMoRe press release on the new tools
  - Provide feedback and suggestions on the new tools via the DDMoRe forum

Model research wins DDmore scientist award at conference
July 2013 - DDMoRe’s Nadia Terranova, who recently completed her PhD at the University of Pavia, was awarded a Lewis Sheiner award at the recent conference of PAGE (‘Population Approach Group in Europe’). ###The Lewis Sheiner award is a distinguished prize which recognises work performed by MSc and PhD students; winners receive €300 and present their work during a special session at the conference.
Dr Terranova’s award-winning work, carried out under DDMoRe, focuses on combination therapies which are widely used to treat cancer. ‘We developed a new mathematical model to describe tumour growth in mice treated with two drugs given in combination, and asses the strength of the drug effect interaction.’ explains Dr Terranova. On DDMoRe, Dr Terranova comments: ‘I think that the possibility to work within a public-private partnership gives a great added value especially for young people like me. The partnership allows the identification of the most strategic points of action for improving modelling approaches, and offers the opportunity to compare, present and share research activities and in some cases experimental data.’
DDMoRe focuses on facilitating Model Based Drug Development (MBDD), which enables the integration of information collected from diverse sources during drug development to describe and predict the behaviour of complex diseases, biological systems and drug actions. As such, MBDD provides decision-makers with a rationale to select drug candidates, targets, trial designs, dose regimens, patient populations and suitable endpoint measures.
 - Sign up to the DDMoRe newsletter
 - Follow DDMoRe on twitter @DDMoRe_IMI

DDMoRe publishes white paper in Nature’s Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology
May 2013 - Some outcomes from the education and training team are highlighted in a white paper published recently in the Nature journal CPT: Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology. ###
DDMoRe’s focus is on Modelling and Simulation (M&S), a technology providing the quantitative basis for informed decision-making across all stages of drug development. This model-based drug development is acknowledged as a vital approach in understanding drug-related benefits and risks.
The white paper presents a survey developed by DDMoRe which targeted stakeholders who are either directly or indirectly involved in Drug Disease Modelling and Simulation (DDM&S) in academia, industry, or the therapeutic usage of medicines. The survey provides insights into the current impact, benefits, weaknesses, and potential hurdles as perceived by the different stakeholders and identifies requirements for effective decision-making and knowledge integration management. The insights gained from the survey results will be used as the basis for developing a framework of competencies, and will contribute towards future educational and training efforts in pharmacometrics and systems pharmacology and DDM&S.
The IMI-funded DDMoRe consortium came together to overcome the lack of common tools, languages and ontologies for M&S, as well as the limited access to stored information which created significant gaps in the use of knowledge within drug development. The consortium builds and maintains a universally applicable, open source, model-based framework, intended as the gold standard for future collaborative drug and disease M&S. More general information on DDMoRe can be found in another article  in the same issue of the journal.

Participants Show participants on map

EFPIA companies
  • AstraZeneca AB, Södertälje, Sweden
  • Eli Lilly and Company Ltd, Basingstoke, United Kingdom
  • F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Basel, Switzerland
  • Glaxosmithkline Research And Development LTD, Brentford, Middlesex, United Kingdom
  • Institut De Recherches Internationales Servier, Suresnes, France
  • Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
  • Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland
  • Novo Nordisk A/S, Bagsvaerd, Denmark
  • Pfizer Limited, Sandwich, Kent , United Kingdom
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals International GmbH, Glattpark-Opfikon (Zurich), Switzerland
  • UCB Biopharma SPRL, Brussels, Belgium
Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Roma, Italy
  • European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany
  • Freie Universitaet Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • Institut National De Recherche En Informatique Et En Automatique, LE CHESNAY Cedex, France
  • Simcyp Limited, London, United Kingdom
  • Universiteit Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands
  • University College London, London, United Kingdom
  • University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
  • Università degli Studi di Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7, Paris, France
  • Uppsala universitet, Uppsala, Sweden
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Cyprotex Discovery Ltd, Macclesfield, United Kingdom
  • Lixoft SAS, Orsay, France
  • Mango Business Solutions Limited, Stevenage, United Kingdom
  • Optimata ltd. , Ramat Gan, Israel
Third parties
  • Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale, Paris, France


Project coordinator
Lutz Harnisch
Pfizer Ltd
Managing entity
Mats Karlsson
Uppsala Universitet