IMI's diabetes project IMIDIA secures additional support from major US research charity JDRF

The European Union's Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) announced that scientists in its successful diabetes project, IMIDIA, will receive additional support of up to $1 million (approx. € 750 000) in milestone-based funding from JDRF. JDRF is the world's largest supporter of research to cure, treat, and prevent type 1 diabetes (T1D). The additional support allows IMIDIA participants to expand their research efforts that are focused on gaining further insight into the role and survival of beta cells in diabetes, and aims to speed up the search for a cure for diabetes.

Michel Goldman, IMI Executive Director commented: "We are pleased to see that the US-based charity JDRF is supporting this innovative programme in Europe. The JDRF grants awarded to the IMIDIA researchers demonstrate that IMI is delivering on its promise of leveraging additional investment in medical research in Europe."

Adrianne Wong, Senior Scientist for Cure Therapies at JDRF commented: "IMI is an attractive partner for JDRF, because through their IMIDIA project, we share a common goal of accelerating the development of better treatments and cures for type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, we are pleased that our programme can leverage IMI's considerable strength in developing and managing collaborative partnerships between industry, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and academic investigators."

IMIDIA is one of the unique Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) under the IMI umbrella and is focusing on the development of new tools to detect and treat diabetes. The IMIDIA consortium consists of around 100 researchers from 12 leading academic institutions, 1 biotechnology company and 8 pharmaceutical companies, focusing on novel approaches and disease models to monitor disease progression and treatment. IMIDIA is coordinated by Sanofi together with Servier and the University of Lausanne.

"The first two JDRF-funded projects to be launched by IMIDIA aim to broaden existing research activities to develop new tools for curing and treating diabetes," stated Werner Kramer (Sanofi), Alain Ktorza (Servier) and Bernard Thorens (Université de Lausanne). "The success of the IMIDIA partnership and JDRF’s first grants to IMIDIA have prompted JDRF to make further and larger funds available to IMIDIA participants." To this end, JDRF has invited IMIDIA scientists to submit new research proposals, to apply for the new grants.

In total, JDRF intends to provide up to $1 000 000 (around €759 000) in milestone-based funding to IMIDIA. The JDRF-funded projects will be aligned with the research objectives of IMIDIA, addressing issues not covered by the original IMIDIA work plan, thereby ensuring that the funds will be used for novel research.

Overall, IMI, IMIDIA and JDRF are working together and sharing information to accelerate the search for new treatments for patients with diabetes. The collaboration has been sealed through agreements signed between IMI, JDRF and IMIDIA.

About IMI
IMI is the world's largest public-private partnership in healthcare. The European Union contributes €1 billion to the IMI research programme, which is matched by in-kind contributions worth at least another €1 billion from the member companies of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). IMI is improving the environment for pharmaceutical innovation in Europe by engaging and supporting networks of industrial and academic experts in collaborative research projects.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative currently funds 30 projects, many of which are already producing impressive results. The projects do not aim to develop new medicines as such, but focus on new methods and tools that will enable the entire sector to accelerate the development of safer and more effective treatments for patients.

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal. Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 billion to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. More than 80 % of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education.