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IMI calls for advancements in machine learning and digital clinical trials

Will reserve up to €82m for universities, SMEs and patient organisations

clinical trials

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is pursing the development of machine learning and digital clinical trials with its latest round of funding.

Targeting universities, small to medium enterprises and patient organisations, the European public-private partnership has an €82m fund for proposals on topics such as big data and machine learning.

The IMI said that vast amounts of data generated during drug discovery is not always “used optimally, meaning scientists miss out on opportunities to make new discoveries using old data”.

With a goal to establish a machine-learning platform for the use of drug discovery, the IMI is hoping that the project will test the new platform in an industry setting and will publish guidelines on how to address various challenges related to this topic.

Another barrier that the partnership aims to break down is the ‘difficulty’ of recruiting patients for clinical trials.

“Many patients are understandably put off by how far they would have to travel to the clinical site, and how often they would be expected to make the trip,” said the IMI.

However, due to advancements in digital technologies and the widespread use of wearable devices, it is now possible to assess patients remotely according to the IMI, which could mean a ‘dramatic’ reduction in the number of times patients are expected to visit the clinic if these technologies were used during clinical trials.

This particular topic will asses the feasibility of running ‘remote decentralised’ clinical trials in Europe and if successful, these trials would result in a more diverse trial population, increasing the frequency and quality of data collection.

Pierre Meulien, executive director of the IMI, said: “Immunology, digital health and the modernisation of clinical trials are among the ‘think big’ areas for the final years of the IMI2 programme.

“We selected these areas as they are particularly well placed to benefit from a large-scale, multi-stakeholder collaborative effort.”

The funding, which comes from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovative programme, will also go towards a better control of immune-mediated diseases and non-invasive imaging of immune cells.

Article by
Gemma Jones

22nd March 2018

From: Research

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