European IMIDIA project to develop better tools to fight diabetes
15 June 2010
The Innovative Medicines Initiative for Diabetes (IMIDIA), a public–private consortium funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), has launched a project focusing on pancreatic islet cell function and survival.
Leading European experts from 14 academic institutions, eight pharmaceutical research organizations and one biotech company in the area of pancreatic ss-cells (the body's own insulin producing cells) officially launched the IMIDIA project.
The project is supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). IMI a unique Public Private Partnership between the pharmaceutical industry (represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations / EFPIA) and the European Union. The EU is contributing a total of €1 billion over ten years, which is matched in-kind by the EFPIA member companies.
IMIDIA is an important stepping stone in the development of better tools, biomarkers and understanding to enable the development of ss-cell medicines — a key to an ultimate long-term vision: the cure for diabetes. This pandemic disease of the 21st century currently affects 285 million people worldwide. It is anticipated that this number will rise sharply to affect 439 million people worldwide by 2030 in particular spreading to the younger population.
IMIDIA is a unique collaboration of leading research groups in Europe focusing on the necessary innovation tightly coupled with the applications and evaluation of these results to develop new diagnostics, prognostics and therapeutics. Around 100 researchers operating in six different scientific work packages will focus on novel approaches eg imaging biomarkers, systems biology and pathway analysis with the goal of developing patient relevant disease models in vitro and in vivo as well as biomarkers to monitor disease progression and treatment.
"It has been fascinating to see how a powerful consortium has been formed starting from the different worlds of academic research and the pharmaceutical industry research organizations," Werner Kramer from sanofi-aventis, Bernard Thorens from University of Lausanne and Alain Ktorza from Servier, the "Triumvirate" coordinating IMIDIA, agree. "Guided by a sustainable win-win situation for all participants, the collaborative spirit coupled with the free flow of information and data within the IMIDIA project teams will support us — the IMIDIA team - in our endeavour to reach these ambitious goals."
IMIDIA participants are AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), Hannover Medical School (MHH), Imperial College London, Lilly, the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Roche, sanofi-aventis, Sarl Endocells, Servier, SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Vrije University of Brussels, Dresden University of Technology, University of Geneva, University of Lausanne, University Paris Diderot, University of Pisa.
For further details see www.imidia.org