The Innovative Medicines Initiative has just published the final review of the IMI1 programme, and the mid-term review of IMI2.
The experts conclude that IMI programme ‘remains relevant and justified’ and that ‘positive contributions on the drug development process have been realised’. Positive points recognised in the reports include:
- the IMI role in the creation of collaborative research networks that have enhanced trust between partners from different sectors, and triggered a mind shift as partners came to understand each other’s needs;
- the quality of the research emerging from IMI projects;
- the creation of important resources and tools for drug development, some of which are already being used by researchers in their daily work.
The reports also note that 90% of the people who responded to the online survey agreed that the EU should cooperate with industry in the context of a public-private partnership on health.
Suggestions for improvement concern performance indicators, increasing the involvement of SMEs as well as dissemination and communication of the projects' results.
Read the European Commission's press release on the evaluation
Read the new IMI brochure on results and impacts
Jacques Dubochet of Switzerland's University of Lausanne has been awarded this year’s Nobel prize in chemistry together with two other scientists from Britain and the United States.
Announcing the winners on Wednesday, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three scientists helped develop cryo-electron microscopy - a method to have detailed images of life’s complex machineries in atomic resolution.
Dubochet, born in 1942, is a honorary professor of biophysics at Lausanne University and worked at Basel and Geneva Universities.
IMI 2 has just published a list of indicative topics for the call 13 which is foreseen to be launched before the end of the year.
The following topics are under consideration for inclusion in future IMI calls for proposals:
- Assessment of the uniqueness of diabetic cardiomyopathy relative to other forms of heart failure using unbiased pheno-mapping approaches
- Genome-environment interactions in inflammatory skin disease
- The value of diagnostics to combat antimicrobial resistance by optimising antibiotic use
- Mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegeneration
- Support and coordination action for the projects of the neurodegeneration area of the Innovative Medicines Initiative
- A sustainable European induced pluripotent stem cell platform
- Linking digital assessment of mobility to clinical endpoints to drive regulatory acceptance and clinical practice
- Human tumour microenvironment immunoprofiling
- CONCEPTION - continuum of evidence from pregnancy exposures, reproductive toxicology and breastfeeding to improve outcomes now
- Improving the preclinical prediction of adverse effects of pharmaceuticals on the nervous system
- Translational safety biomarker pipeline (TRANSBIOLINE): enabling development and implementation of novel safety biomarkers in clinical trials and diagnosis of disease
- Federated and privacy-preserving machine learning in support of drug discovery
- Pilot programme on a clinical compound bank for repurposing. This programme includes the following topics: Cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, Respiratory diseases, Neurodegenerative diseases and Rare/orphan diseases
Swiss researchers and organisations can now fully participate in the whole Horizon 2020 programme, including IMI, on equal terms with entities from EU Member States and other associated countries.
Switzerland became fully associated to Horizon 2020 on 1 January 2017 following the country’s ratification, on 16 December 2016, of the Protocol extending the EU-Switzerland Free Movement of Persons agreement to Croatia. From December 2014 to December 2016, Swiss scientists could only receive funding under parts of Horizon 2020 (not including IMI).
‘Switzerland has now fulfilled the EU's condition on free movement of people and can be fully associated to Horizon 2020,’ said Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. ‘This is good news for Switzerland, and good news for the EU. It will further strengthen our scientific communities and our very substantial cooperation in research and innovation.’
The Swiss have already nominated an IMI States Representatives Group (SRG) member – Isabella Beretta. Among other things, SRG members can provide advice to local researchers on applying for IMI funding and help them to find partners.
For more information, please refer to the EC's fact sheet.
Sources: Euresearch, SERI