• Posted by Tania Anjos on 13 May 2013, 9:19 am

    – €22.7 million 5 year project will see several large pharmaceutical companies work together with universities, small and medium-sized enterprises, patient groups and regulators with the aim to deliver new treatments for systemic autoimmune disease.
    Brussels. On the 1st of February the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a joint undertaking between the European Union and the pharmaceutical industry association EFPIA, which exists to speed up the development of better and safer medicines, launched an exciting new research project. The new collaborative effort, working under the name of ‘PRECISESADS’, and led by Prof Marta Alarcon Riquelme from the Centre for Genomics and Oncological Research (GENYO) at the City of Granada, Spain, brings together an extensive network of European industrial, clinical and academic experts looking to use innovative diagnostic technology to relate systemic autoimmune disease (SAD) to detectable changes in individual molecular signatures.
    The clinicians and scientists leading this collaboration will study at least 2000 patients living with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), systemic sclerosis (SSc), Sjögren’s syndrome (Sjs), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), primary antiphospholipid syndrome (PAPS) and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) and 600 healthy controls aiming to identify overlapping clusters of individuals across these diseases that share recognisable molecular features and who consequently may benefit from treatments targeted to address these shared elements of pathology. In addition, kidney and skin biopsies will be analysed to discover new molecular markers of severe kidney disease and skin fibrosis.
    The programme team for PRECISESADS will meet for the first time later this next week at the Brussels Headquarters of UCB, its EFPIA lead partner.
    EFPIA project leader for PRECISESADS Prof Chris Chamberlain of UCB said…
    “This is a remarkable opportunity for long term collaboration across Europe which allows us to share expertise, enthusiasm and resources to help discover new ways to help patients with autoimmune disease”
    Managing Entity project leader for PRECISESADS Prof Alarcón Riquelme said…
    “Our aim is to find the best biomarkers and facilitate their study to accelerate diagnosis and aid therapeutic decision-making”
    In all, 23 academic and 5 industrial partners from 12 countries spread right across Europe, will work for 5 years with a budget of €22.7 million, €9.9 million of which comes from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework for Research (FP7), and €9.8 million of which comes from in kind contributions by the pharmaceutical companies participating in the project.
    Results will be widely shared to deliver a new molecular taxonomy of SAD that can be directly accessed by physicians, patients, regulators and drug developers to help define, refine and discover better treatments for SAD.
    Project info *
    • Start date: 01/02/2014
    • Duration: 5 years
    Project finance *
    • IMI funding: €9.9 million
    • EFPIA in-kind: €9.8 million
    • Other: €1.7 million
    • Total cost: €22.7 million

    The research leading to these results has received support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking under grant agreement n° [115565], resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) and EFPIA companies’ in kind contribution.

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