UPDATED: Meet the IMI projects already helping to fight COVID-19

A number of IMI’s projects are making valuable contributions to the global effort to tackle COVID-19. The contributions include knowledge, tools and expertise, and while some come from projects in the infectious disease field, projects working in other areas, such as data management and Alzheimer’s disease, are also stepping up to the plate.
Particles of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

SARS… or something else?

RAPID-COVID’s platform can detect up to 30 different infections in one test. This will help stem the spread of COVID-19 by getting the diagnosis right - especially important in flu season

Two IMI projects to work with EMA on COVID-19

The EHDEN and ConcePTION projects plus the ADVANCE/VAC4EU will help the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gather real world data on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments once they are approved and being used in day-to-day clinical practice.
The SARS-C0V-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Image: NIAID

ECSEL JU launches Call for proposals on decentralised clinical trials

ECSEL JU, the joint undertaking for electronic components and systems, has launched a Call for proposals on decentralised clinical trials that would complement the work of IMI’s Trials@Home project. IMI and ECSEL JU have been sharing information on their projects, and exploring ways to deepen their collaboration, for a number of years. Now, that collaboration is set to deepen with the launch of an ECSEL JU Call for proposals that...
Mobile devices. Image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay

IMI2 – Calls 22 and 23: updated topics available and webinar registration open

Tackling cancer through artificial intelligence, antimicrobial resistance, neurodegenerative diseases, rare disease diagnosis, clinical trial data, and patient adherence are the topics proposed for IMI’s next Calls for proposals. IMI has published updated versions of the draft texts of the topics that are slated for inclusion in IMI’s next Calls for proposals, IMI2 – Calls 22 and 23, which are scheduled for launch on 23 June 2020. In addition, registration is...

The story so FAIR

Making data FAIR could supercharge medicine development. FAIRplus is putting the principles into practice.

8 new COVID-19 projects announced

The Innovative Medicines Initiative has provisionally selected 8 projects for funding from its fast-track Call for proposals on coronavirus diagnostics and treatments. In addition, it has boosted the IMI funding pot from EUR 45 million to EUR 72 million. On top of this, EFPIA companies, IMI Associated Partners and other organisations will contribute over EUR 45 million to the projects.

When data is FAIR, citizens ultimately reap the benefit

Generated at ever-increasing speed and potentially extremely valuable, big data could drive massive improvements in European health systems, but only if we can agree on a set of rules for the use, reuse and management.

Socio-economic legacy: EHR4CR's data reuse revolution

Electronic health record (EHR) systems are widely used in Europe and worldwide. These rich data sources can be used to address bottle necks in clinical trial design and, crucially, patient recruitment. However the lack of interoperability between EHR systems has traditionally limited the ability to efficiently combine the data across large populations for research analysis. The EHR4CR project was launched in 2011 to develop a platform that can use de-identified...
data by pexels

Addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on IMI Calls and projects

At the IMI Programme Office, we are very conscious of the fact that the COVID-19 outbreak poses significant challenges for IMI projects and applicants alike. Here we summarise the steps taken at IMI to mitigate the situation, and provide links to resources that may be helpful. Information for applicants We have extended the following Call deadlines: IMI2 – Call 18 (stage 2): deadline extended to 2 April 2020 IMI2 –...

Draft future Call topics published online

Tackling cancer through artificial intelligence, antimicrobial resistance, neurodegenerative diseases, rare disease diagnosis, clinical trial data, and patient adherence are the topics proposed for IMI’s next Calls for proposals.
Close up of a hand holding a tiny lightbulb. Credit: Shutterstock

New tools and trials combat the resurgence of whooping cough

EU-funded researchers hope a greater understanding of interactions between pertussis bacteria and the immune system, together with a toolkit for testing new vaccines, will help prevent whooping cough disease and deaths in babies worldwide.
Pertussis bacteria

Focus on: coronavirus

IMI's fast-tracked coronavirus call was a response to a sudden disease outbreak of enormous consequence to public health, and we are proud of our ability to contribute. We can see how the emergence of COVID-19 fits into a larger context; every year, viruses jump from animals to the human population. This is well known. The scientific community needs to be ready to respond regardless of where the next virus comes...

COVID-19 is a sign of the times

Repurposing existing drugs could get us out of the current predicament but it’s clear we need to prepare for more pandemics
Novel coronavirus

The secret life of tumours

In recent funding calls, IMI has turned its attention to emerging cancer therapies, seeking better understanding of things like the effect of tumour microenvironment on immunotherapy success
Human colon cancer cells

CANCER-ID hunts for cancer clues in blood samples

Today, many cancer patients have to undergo biopsy surgery to provide doctors with the cell samples they need to diagnose the disease and monitor how well a treatment is working. IMI’s CANCER-ID project has paved the way for the use of ‘liquid biopsies’ drawn from a blood sample.
Blood samples

IMI planning EUR 45 million Call for proposals on COVID-19

The fast-track, single stage Call will cover therapeutics and diagnostics to tackle the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. IMI plans to launch a Call for proposals on COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that was first reported in China in December 2019 and has since infected over 71 000 people and killed 1 700. The Call, which will be launched in early March, focuses on the development of: therapeutics to address the...


PET scans that show brain changes caused by Alzheimer’s give doctors confidence in diagnosis

Being able to visualise the pathology linked to the disease is a big benefit for diagnosis and patient management. Researchers from an IMI project that set out to get definitive data on the role of amyloid PET scans in Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis are hearing from physicians that being able to visualise the underlying pathology linked to the disease is a big benefit for diagnosis and patient management. The ability to...

Sign up for the IMI2 – Call 20 webinars

IMI2 – Call 20 will be launched in January 2020 and features topics on cancer, tuberculosis, psoriasis, drugs based on proteins, and vaccines. Registration is now open for the IMI2 - Call 20 webinars, which will be held from 22 to 31 January 2020 inclusive. Registration is free but obligatory via the webinar page. There are webinars on all Call topics as well as IMI's rules and procedures and opportunities...

Why it’s so hard to make new antibiotics

There’s no lack of chemicals that can kill bacteria. One of the main reasons there have been so few new antibiotics developed in recent decades – apart from a poor return on investment – is that researchers have run out of ideas on how to outwit the protective mechanisms of Gram-negative bacteria.

For small companies, IMI projects can help tap into new markets

CEO of TRISTAN project partner tells IMI about the opportunities that can open up as a result of getting involved in an IMI project. Karin von Wachenfeldt, Ph. D. is the CEO of Truly Labs, a Swedish SME that carries out preclinical research. Tell us about your company: Truly Labs is a small preclinical CRO (contract research organisation) that provides lab services for drug development. We are based in Lund...

Focus: Antimicrobial resistance 

Antimicrobial resistance is becoming one of the defining problems of our time. As bacteria become resistant to the drugs that are supposed to kill them, scientists, policy makers and the pharma industry are looking at different ways to fix the problem before it’s too late. IMI has invested heavily in AMR research. To date, we have invested almost €800 million on 14 projects. In November, we will be taking a...

New IMI project puts immune cells in the spotlight

EUR 27 million Immune-Image project will advance the use of imaging technologies to track immune cells. Immunotherapies, which harness the immune system to fight disease, are revolutionising the treatment of many cancers and inflammatory diseases. However, while these innovative treatments prove life-saving for some patients, others do not respond to immunotherapies at all, and others experience serious side effects. The 5-year Immune-Image project, which started recently, aims to pioneer the...

Trial of second Ebola vaccine to start in Democratic Republic of the Congo

The trial of the two-dose Ebola vaccine regimen aims to help tackle the current outbreak and strengthen future Ebola epidemic preparedness. An international consortium will soon start a large-scale clinical trial of an Ebola vaccine regimen in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is currently experiencing the second worst Ebola epidemic in history. IMI has contributed significantly to the development of the two-dose vaccine regimen, which is manufactured by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Meet IMI at BIO-Europe 2019

In two weeks’ time, IMI will be in Hamburg for BIO-Europe 2019, which runs from 11 to 13 November. A highlight for IMI will be a session on the morning of 12 November on EU support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Among the speakers is IMI’s Magali Poinot, who will explain the benefits for SMEs of participating in IMI projects and show how SMEs can get involved in IMI...

Spotlight on early-career investigators: an interview with Benjamin Falcon

Benjamin Falcon is a scientist in the IMPRiND project, which is investigating the role of misfolded proteins in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Dr Benjamin Falcon is a postdoctoral scientist at the UK Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, working to untangle the mysteries of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. He completed his PhD with Professor Michel Goedert and has developed an impressive track record of findings that progress...

Good data on medication safety for new and expectant mothers is overdue

A survey intends to get a clear picture of women’s experiences of medicating while pregnant or breast-feeding Video: Caroline Swain was five weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her health providers didn't initially know what treatments she could take. © The Pregnancy and Medicines Initiative The problem Evidence suggests that up to 95% of the five million women who get pregnant in the EU every year will...

Find out about IMI’s future funding opportunities

Cancer, tuberculosis, and psoriasis are among the topics that could be part of our next Call for proposals, IMI2 – Call 20. Also slated for inclusion in the Call are topics on drugs based on proteins, and vaccines.

How do you prepare for a pandemic?

IMI Director Pierre Meulien talks about IMI's reaction to the biggest Ebola outbreak in history and how the world is better prepared for future major epidemics.

Focus on: Ebola

During the month of October we will be taking a look at some of the results of our Ebola-related research projects.