On 30 March, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) funded Neuronet Coordination and Support Action convened the eigth Scientific Coordination Board meeting (SCB). The Board plays a central role in determining how Neuronet should direct its efforts. As leaders of IMI neurodegeneration projects, the SCB members bring wide-ranging scientific, clinical, R&D and computational expertise to the table, helping us to identify key challenges and priorities to address.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the AMYPAD, EMIF, EPND, IDEA-FAST, IM2PACT, IMPRiND, PD-MitoQUANT, PHAGO, PRISM2 projects along with members of the Neuronet consortium. Carlos Diaz (Synapse), Coordinator of Neuronet, kicked off the SCB meeting by providing some general updates on Neuronet activities since the previous SCB meeting, which was held on 22 October 2021. Matthias Gossel, Alliance Manager at Sanofi, introduced himself as the representative for IM2PACT, as Dominique Lesuisse was unavailable.
Next, Angela Bradshaw (Alzheimer Europe) provided an update on work underway to support a new special issue of Frontiers in Neurology, entitled “Impact of public-private collaborative research on AD: the case of the IMI”. The editors of the special issue are Elisabetta Vaudano (IMI), Jean Georges (AE), Martin Hofmann-Apitius (Fraunhofer SCAI), Donald Lo (NIH) and Monica Ensini (European Commission), and the abstract deadline is 18 May, with a deadline for full manuscripts of 18 July.
This was followed by a look at current activities of Neuronet with regards to the NEURO Cohort, by Lewis Killin. Lewis explained that NEURO Cohort stems from the EPAD LCS study, and has expanded to represent 40 sites and at least 25,000 potential participants. The goal of NEURO Cohort is to support new studies wanting to engage sites in Europe, acting as an honest broker towards funders and external researchers and easing challenges with recruitment, contracting and other administrative processes. This European “parent cohort” would an agile structure on top of which new research studies could be developed. NEURO Cohort has operated as a coalition of the willing since the outset and has since maintained conversations with potential funders. Overall, it aims for breadth across sites rather than depth of data, and is supported by the Medical Informatics Platform.
Followed by that, Nina Coll (Synapse), provided an update on future meetings that are planned as part of Neuronet’s activities, including a final Consortium meeting, to which the SCB members are cordially invited.
As a last point on the agenda, the project leads Lennert Steukers (Janssen) and Carlos Díaz led a roundtable discussion around the last six months of Neuronet’s IMI funding period with a focus on priorities and sustainability.
The meeting ended with a wrap-up and concluding remarks by Carlos Diaz who thanked the SCB for their continued support and contribution, and for making Neuronet a success.