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European Consortium Launches 10-year, $1.2B Diabetes Project

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Innovative Medicines Initiative for Diabetes on Monday announced a €1 billion ($1.2 billion), 10-year project focusing on pancreatic islet cell function and survival.

The project will involve research into developing biomarkers and tools to better manage diabetes with the hope of curing the disease, which affects 285 million people worldwide, IMIDIA said in a statement.

The project is supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a public-private partnership between Europe's pharmaceutical industry — as represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations — and the European Union. The EU is providing €1 billion in funding, which will be matched in kind by the EFPIA member companies.

IMIDIA is a collaboration of academic research groups, government agencies, and pharma firms "focusing on the necessary innovation tightly coupled with the applications and evaluation of these results to develop new diagnostics, prognostics, and therapeutics," it said.

About 100 researchers will investigate new approaches, such as those using imaging biomarkers, systems biology, and pathway analysis to develop patient disease models in vitro and in vivo, as well as biomarkers to monitor disease progression and treatment.

Among the IMIDIA participants are AstraZeneca, the French Atomic Energy Commission, Novartis, the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, and Dresden University.

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