Tackling the replication crisis in neuroscience

The European Quality in Preclinical Data (EQIPD) consortium has announced the official finalisation of the EQIPD Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) project.

Over the course of four years the consortium has developed a state-of-the-art, lean and fit-for-purpose quality system to facilitate adherence to rigorous, evidence-based research practices in academic and industrial non-regulated non-clinical research [1].

To make the quality system widely available, the consortium has launched an online educational platform providing education and training in the principles and application of quality and rigour [2], and published recommendations for the internal validity in the design, conduct and analysis of biomedical experiments involving laboratory animals [3].

Professor Malcolm Macleod of the University of Edinburgh, co-ordinator of the EQIPD consortium, said:

“The EQIPD partners worked very efficiently as a cohesive unit, even when challenged by unforeseen circumstances, such as the Covid pandemic. Via access to non-clinical data from industry we have been able to explore those variables in study design and data analysis that influence outcomes in preclinical neuroscience and safety studies conducted in industry, and to establish whether these are the same variables that influence outcomes in academic studies [4]. The outcomes from this analysis and the recommendations of internal validity informed a series of animal experiments conducted by the consortium, and we were able to demonstrate the benefits of harmonisation across labs.“

To sustain the efforts of the consortium, EQIPD is in the process of founding the Guarantors of EQIPD society. Dr Thomas Steckler of Janssen Pharmaceutica, project leader of the EQIPD consortium, added:

“The Guarantors of EQIPD consist of a group of the EQIPD project team members and will be responsible for the overall guidance and administration of academic and educational programmes, and the dissemination of the EQIPD vision. The guarantors will oversee the deployment of the EQIPD Quality System, working with by an independent globally acting partner organisation to provide the operational support and services required for day-to-day business management during the implementation and maintenance of the EQIPD Quality System at interested research units.”

The EQIPD quality system is freely available and can be accessed at http://www.eqipd.online or https://eqipd-toolbox.paasp.net/wiki/EQIPD_Quality_System. Research units interested in the quality system are encouraged to contact info@eqipd.online for additional information.

The EQIPD project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No. 777364. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

[1] https://elifesciences.org/articles/63294.
[2] https://quality-preclinical-data.eu/learning-environment/eqipd-e-learning.
[3] https://openscience.bmj.com/content/bmjos/4/1/e100046.full.pdf.
[4] See, for example, the output of the Alzheimer’s disease systematic review platform at https://camarades.shinyapps.io/LivingEvidence_AD

EQIPD website: https://quality-preclinical-data.eu
IMI website: www.imi.europa.eu
EFPIA website: https://www.efpia.eu

This communication reflects the authors’ view. Neither IMI nor the European Union, EFPIA, or any Associated Partners are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

List of EQIPD consortium partners

AbbVie Inc., North Chicago, IL, United States
Arlenda SA, Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium
Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Ingelheim, Germany
concentris research management GmbH, Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany
Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Basel, Switzerland
Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, London, United Kingdom
Institut de Recherches Servier, Croissy-sur-Seine, France
Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Beerse, Belgium
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany
Noldus Information Technology BV, Wagenningen, The Netherlands
Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland
Orion Corporation, Espoo, Finland
PAASP GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany
Pfizer Ltd., Tadworth, United Kingdom
Porsolt SAS, Le Genest-Saint-Isle, France
PsychoGenics Inc., Paramus, NJ, United States
Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Sanofi-Aventis Recherche & Développement, Chilly-Mazarin, France
Science Exchange Inc., Palo Alto, CA, United States
Stichting Buro ECNP, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Synaptologics BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ucb Biopharma SPRL, Brussels, Belgium
Universität Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Universitätsmedizin der Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Mainz, Germany
University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands


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