Innovative Medicines Initiative: Publication of IMI1 and IMI2 evaluations

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

Source: IMI

Swiss wins 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry

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.

Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) 2 Call 13: Indicative Topics Published

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

Source: IMI2

Switzerland now fully part of H2020, including IMI

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

Joint Meeting of the EASD Islet Study Group and Beta Cell Workshop, May 7-10, 2017 in Dresden

The registration as well as the abstract submission system for the Joint Meeting of the EASD Islet Study Group and the Beta Cell Workshop, which will take place from May 7-10, 2017 in Dresden, Germany, are now open online.

You are welcome to actively attend the workshop by submitting an abstract on your latest advances in the field of islet biology and diabetes. Among the accepted abstracts, 8-10 will be selected for a short oral talk, while all others will be eligible for one of several poster awards. Abstracts can be submitted using the link. Submission deadline is January 31st, 2017.

Please indicate whether you prefer your abstract to be considered for a short oral talk only or, in alternative, also for a poster presentation.

 All further information concerning the workshop as well as the web links to the registration and abstract submission system can also be found on the conference webpage.


6th meeting of the EASD-Study Group on Genetics of Diabetes (SGGD), 11-13 May 2017, Leiden

The 6th meeting of the EASD-Study Group on Genetics of Diabetes (SGGD) will be held in Leiden, The Netherlands on 11-1-3 May 2017.

Topic of this meeting will be “Genetics of diabetes and its role in precision medicine”. Like in previous editions it will be an opportunity to share the latest developments and to meet people – scientists, doctors and other professionals – who actively participate in research in the field of (epi-)genetics of diabetes, its complications and the application of genetics in personalized medicine. A mixture of keynote lectures, invited talks and oral and poster presentations from young scientists will ensure an excellent and stimulating scientific environment for both juniors and seniors

Abstract submission deadline is January 31st, 2017.

Award (500 Euro) for the best oral and poster presentation

Please be reminded to take advantage of the early bird registration fee (250€).

The preliminary programme and information about registration, abstract submission and hotel reservations can be found on the meeting website

IMI2 call 10 now open

IMI2 has launched its 10th Call for proposals under the IMI2 programme, with 8 topics:

Topic 1: Understanding hypoglycaemia: the underlying mechanisms and addressing clinical determinants as well as consequences for people with diabetes by combining databases from clinical trials

Topic 2: How big data could support better diagnosis and treatment outcomes for prostate cancer (part of the Big Data for Better Outcomes programme)

Topic 3: Improving the care of patients suffering from acute or chronic pain (this topic includes three subtopics on patient reported outcomes; biomarkers; and chronic pelvic pain)

Topic 4: Creation of a pan-European paediatric clinical trials network

Topic 5: Biomanufacturing 2020: development of innovative high throughput analytical tools and methods to characterize cell culture fluid during development and commercial cell culture processes

Topic 6: Unlocking the solute carrier gene-family for effective new therapies (unlock SLCs)

Topic 7: Patient perspectives in medicines lifecycle

Topic 8: Personalised medicine approaches in autism spectrum disorders

The deadline for short proposals is 28 March 2017. Details of all topics and information on how to apply can be found on the IMI website.

RHAPSODY full website now online

We are happy to announce that the RHAPSODY full website is now online. It will be our pleasure to update it constantly with news, events and project achievements.

RHAPSODY first press release

The RHAPSODY first press release has been launched today. Also Université de Lausanne, project coordinator informed about the project (in French).

Kick-off meeting in Paris

RHAPSODY has just been launched with a Kick-off meeting in Paris. The meeting was hosted by project leader Servier, on 11-13 May 2016 in the Servier premises in Suresnes.

All consortium members had the opportunity to meet, often for the first time, and get to know each other. During the three days meeting, the project idea was introduced, the work plan detailed and the work for the coming months discussed.  An excellent dinner at the restaurant Le Chalet des Iles at Lac du Bois de Boulogne completed a very pleasant and fruitful meeting.
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This project receives funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 115881. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA.

This work is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education‚ Research and Innovation (SERI) under contract number 16.0097-2.

The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views of these funding bodies.