EU Research Projects

Collaborative European NeuroTrauma Effectiveness Research in TBI

CENTER-TBI is a large European project that aims to improve the care for patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). It forms part of the larger global initiative InTBIR: International Initiative for Traumatic Brain Injury Research with projects currently ongoing in Europe, the US and Canada. CENTER-TBI brings the newest technologies and many of the world's leading TBI experts together in a much needed effort to tackle the silent epidemic of TBI. International and multidisciplinary collaboration are key elements to the project in which past dogmas will be left behind and innovative approaches undertaken. As Coordinators of CENTER-TBI we are proud to lead this generationally unique project. We anticipate that CENTER-TBI will revolutionize our view of leading TBI to more effective and efficient therapy, improved health care at both individual and population based levels, and better outcomes at lower costs.

https://www.center-tbi.eu/

Contact persons at FIMM:

SR
Samuli
Ripatti
Professor
Department of Public Health
Field of science Health care science, Public health care science, environmental and occupational health, Statistics and probability, Genetics, developmental biology, physiology

AP
Aarno
Palotie
Research Director
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Field of science Biomedicine, Neurosciences

Multiple manifestations of genetic and non-genetic factors in Multiple Sclerosis disentangled with a multi-omics approach to accelerate personalised medicine – MultipleMS

The consortium name ‘MultipleMS’ refers to the disease Multiple Sclerosis, the multiple manifestations thereof and to the size and multiplicity of the partnership. In this project, universities and companies across 11 European countries and the US will unite efforts to tailor the development and application of therapies to the individual MS patient. The main objective of MultipleMS is to develop novel personalised medicine approaches for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Our goal is timely, not only because there is an urgent need for precision management of MS but also because necessary knowledge, methodologies and vast multi-layer data resources are now available.

MultipleMS project website

Contac person at FIMM:

JS
Janna
Saarela
Research Director
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Field of science Biomedicine

 

Comorbidity and Synapse Biology in Clinically Overlapping Psychiatric Disorders

COSYN is a unique pan-European project bringing together leading experts from the relevant clinical fields, genomics, stem cell biology, neurobiology, and strong participation of LE Pharma. COSYN aims to address the basis of intellectual disabilities (ID), autism, and schizophrenia by studying the genes and pathways involved in this process and by identifying the interactions through which disease develops in normal and in disease conditions, with an emphasis on synaptic function, as early steps of neuropsychiatric disorders are expected to impact synapse function.

COSYN will identify better, more appropriate targets for therapy, provide clinicians and LE Pharma a better understanding of the molecular basis of the diseases at hand, and develop a new disease classification and new cellular assays and drug targets.

https://www.cosyn-precisionmedicine.eu/

Contact person at FIMM:

AP
Aarno
Palotie
Research Director
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Field of science Biomedicine, Neurosciences

Comprehensive characterization and effective combinatorial targeting of high-grade serous ovarian cancer via single-cell analysis

HERCULES is a collaboration project focused on finding solutions to drug resistance in high-grade serous ovarian cancer. In this project, samples from patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer are studies. The samples are analysed using mass cytometry, sequencing and computational tools to find optimal biomarkers that would allow the identification of different cell populations from tissue samples. The use of single-cell sequencing for DNA and RNA allows for an unprecedented level of information to be gained from the tumour cell populations. Fresh patient samples and cell lines established from them will be used for examining the cancer cells’ response to anti-cancer drugs. The data from these experiments will be used to establish computational models and develop computational tools to predict the most effective drug combinations to kill the cell populations. The key results will be validated using existing high-grade serous ovarian cancer data together with fresh samples, old biobank samples and in vivo models. Based on the results, a prototype of a commercial test for predicting the best drug combinations to individual patients will be developed. University of Helsinki/Professor Sampsa Hautaniemi is the coordinator of the project. 

More information:

Hercules project website

Contact person at FIMM:

TA
Tero
Aittokallio
Senior Researcher
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Field of science Biomedicine, Mathematics, Computer and information sciences, Statistics and probability

 

Biomarker enterprise to attack DKD

Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a common complication of diabetes, and DKD is now the most common form of chronic kidney disease. There is no effective way to prevent or treat DKD, leaving many patients in extremely poor health and facing high mortality rates. The BEAt-DKD project aims to deliver tools and knowledge that will facilitate the development of new, personalised treatments for DKD. Among other things, the project will identify and validate biological markers (biomarkers) to help researchers track whether a patient’s condition has worsened, and whether a treatment is working for them. They will also work to identify different sub-groups of patients that could respond differently to certain treatments. The results will therefore pave the way for the development of effective personalised treatments for DKD. Harry Holthöfer from University of Helsinki is the vice-coordinator for this project.

More information:

BEAt-DKD project website

Contact person at FIMM:

HH
Harry
Holthöfer
Field of science Biomedicine

 

 

European Public-Private Partnership for Big Data in Hematology

The HARMONY Alliance uses big data technologies to improve the treatment of seven hematologic malignancies. In recent decades, diagnosis and treatment of these diseases has substantially improved, but many remain incurable. The key outstanding questions in this field can only be answered by studying large numbers of patients. Therefore, the HARMONY Alliance will generate a harmonized European clinical data platform, assembling data from thousands of European patients. This will enable the HARMONY researchers to characterize the molecular landscape of the seven malignancies, understand their pathophysiology, and identify novel drug targets. In addition, it will allow us to reliably predict disease course and drug response for subgroups of patients. Ultimately, this should result in tools to rapidly select the most promising treatment strategy for a particular patient (i.e. personalized medicine).

UH researchers are involved in developing the data analytics required for therapy evaluation. More specifically, they work on defining the complex data and variables collected during the study, which they then use for association analysis studies, outcome modeling and prediction of therapeutic response. As the final step, the data will be integrated for a holistic approach in a personalized medicine framework. FIMM Group Leader Caroline Heckman and Professor Kimmo Porkka from the HUCH Comprehensive Cancer Center are coordinating the project in Finland.

More information:

Harmony project website

Contact person at FIMM:

CH
Caroline
Heckman
Research Director
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Field of science Biomedicine, Cancers, Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology

 

 

Project: Clinical implementation of Multidimensional Phenotypical drug Sensitivities in pediatric precision oncology

European clinical pediatric precision oncology platforms (INFORM, MAPPYACTS, iTHER) have already prospectively analyzed over 1.000 cases of relapsed pediatric cancers by applying next generation sequencing and microarray-based technologies. While in 50% of the patients druggable pathways can be identified, the remaining lack actionable alterations, particularly brain tumors, sarcomas and neuroblastoma, indicating significant currently unmet needs in precision medicine. Here, we propose that adding direct functional testing of drug sensitivities of patient-derived (PD) cancer cells to our molecular profiling consortium will provide additional key information for precision pediatric oncology. The COMPASS consortium has three aims: I) establish a standardized ex vivo drug sensitivity testing platform to discover unexpected drug efficacies and drug re-positioning opportunities, II) discover new biomarkers and molecular mechanisms for the drug efficacies seen, III) generate a large-scale online data resource of drug efficacies with integrated omics data providing a basis for novel precision therapies for incurable pediatric tumors. To achieve a high concordance in a multi-center setting, we will share SOPs, a core set of genetically defined pediatric PD tumor models and a COMPASS core library containing clinically approved drugs. We believe that this consortium will deliver breakthrough insights based on the following strengths i) integration of samples, knowhow as well as clinical and molecular data from key European centers in pediatric oncology, ii) significant track record in collecting multi-omics data from 1000+ pediatric oncology cases, iii) incorporation of direct functional testing as a new platform for efficacies of cancer drugs for individual patients and iv) creating an open-access data resource of molecular and functional profiles for facilitating clinical trials and future precision clinical cancer care.

More information:

COMPASS project website

Contact person at FIMM:

Vilja
Pietiäinen
Senior Researcher
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Field of science Biomedicine, Medical biotechnology, Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology

 

Novel individualized therapies in JAK/STAT driven T-cell malignancies

This interdisciplinary JAKSTAT-TARGET consortium of immunologists, hematologists, structural chemists, and systems biologists capitalizes on unique resources such as clinical registry-linked sample repositories, new high-fidelity mouse models, pipelines of structure-based target design, and in-silico machine learning tools. We propose that targeting the JAK/STAT signalling network in synergistic combinations with drugs inhibiting inter-connected other key driver pathways will improve individualized anti-leukemic efficacy. We will achieve this by three objectives (O): O1 will address the causal T-cell receptor and cytokine mediated impact on genome integrity and on the occurrence of JAK/STAT mutations. It interrogates the biochemical and functional consequences of the mutated and unmutated clones, and derives actionable differential vulnerabilities. O2 will study the performance of identified synergistic drug combinations using in-house developed optimized STAT-inhibitors in novel animal models and primary samples. O3 will implement drug-screen data from patient material into an ongoing clinical trial. Ultimately, with machine-learning algorithms we will integrate the harmonized data of genomic profiles, drug-sensitivity patterns, and clinical outcomes from all objectives toward multi-omics guided predic-tions of optimal choices for trial designs and individual-patient based therapy selection. University of Helsinki/Professor Satu Mustjoki is the coordinator of the project. 

More information:

JAKSTAT-TARGET project website

Contact person at FIMM:

TA
Tero
Aittokallio
Senior Researcher
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Field of science Biomedicine, Mathematics, Computer and information sciences, Statistics and probability

 

Integrated and standardized NGS workflows for Personalised therapy

Instand-NGS4P is a 60-month PCP project federating 7 leading medical centers (two are coordinating ERNs) as buyers’ group with major experience in using different NGS platforms in research and routine diagnostics. The consortium is further strengthened by European patient advocacy groups, a standardization organization and partners participating in the European infrastructures BBMRI-ERIC, ELIXIR as well as several NGS-related EU programs to cover all technical aspects and transversal needs & requirements. Driven by patient and clinical needs, innovative NGS workflows from sample-pre-analytics to medical decision making will be developed. The modular design of the workflow will particularly enable SEMs to contribute, and provides flexibility to adopt emerging user needs and technologies. Specifications will address regulatory requirements for IVDs and refer to international standards and requests development of reference materials and implementation of EQA schemes covering the whole workflow. R&D suppliers will be selected based on a public tender all along this PCP process in 3 phases according to the best-value for money solution. The 3 phases foresee the leverage of 4 technical modules (pre-analytics, sequencing, bioinformatics, e-reporting/e-medication) and their standardized interfaces – from design (Phase 1) to prototypes (Phase 2), and full integration in Phase 3. At the end, this PCP will provide 2 fully integrated, standardized NGS workflows for routine diagnostics of common and rare cancers from adults to children. In order to enable broad implementation in healthcare systems throughout Europe and beyond and to increase benefit to patients a series of support activities are planned including communication and dissemination activities targeting a broad stakeholder community, development of training and education material for healthcare professionals and patients, health economic assessment and engagement with healthcare payers and policy makers.

http://www.instandngs4p.eu/

Contact person at FIMM:

AP
Aarno
Palotie
Research Director
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Field of science Biomedicine, Neurosciences

 

Marie Curie CANCERPREV ITN consortium on cancer prevention

Cancer can’t be studied by working in silos. At CANCERPREV, we believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This consortium unites an international group of high-profile epidemiologists, basic cancer biologists and health care professionals, to jointly train a new generation of young researchers on factors that are increasingly recognised as culprits in cancer development across different tissues: hormones, nutrition and inflammation. We will do so over the course of three years (‘20-‘23). At the end of the project, the PhD students involved will be able to have an impact on the future of preventive cancer medicine.

More information:

Marie Curie CANCERPREV ITN project website

Contac persons at FIMM:

EV
Emmy
Verschuren
Research Coordinator
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Field of science Biomedicine, Cancers

 

Jaakko
Kaprio
Research Director
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Field of science Health care science, Public health care science, environmental and occupational health, Neurosciences