EU research projects

FIMM researchers are involved in several EU H2020, FP7, IMI2 and ERA PerMed projects.

H2020, 2021-2025

International consortium for integrative genomics prediction

Different people develop disease and respond to treatments differently. Moving away from the one-size-fits-all approach, personalised medicine pursues treatment options tailored to the genetic profile of individuals. The EU-funded INTERVENE project will develop next-generation tools for disease prevention, diagnosis and personalised treatment. INTERVENE will use powerful artificial intelligence technologies on a vast and diverse US-European pool of genomic and health data to calculate genetic risk scores that predict an individual’s susceptibility to a particular disease. The risk scores will be tested in clinical trials focusing on devastating common diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. INTERVENE will also develop and test the role of risk scores in several rare diseases as well as COVID-19 infection and severity.

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H2020, 2020-2024

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.

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Horizon Europe, 2022-2027

Building a sustainable European innovation platform to enhance the repurposing of medicines for all

The development of a new medicine is a lengthy and complex undertaking, and the risks are high as many projects fail during the development process. Exploring the potential use of existing medicines in areas of unmet medical needs is one alternative. In this context, the EU-funded REMEDI4ALL project aims to establish Europe's leadership globally in the repurposing of medicines by creating a vibrant community of practice. Bringing together all sectors and involving the right experts at the right time, REMEDI4ALL will create new connections to test and validate existing medicines for a new purpose. Four preclinical and clinical phase demonstrators in a variety of disease areas (including oncology, and rare and infectious diseases) will validate the tools and processes developed by the project.

The REMEDi4ALL consortium brings together a unique combination of expertise to address the complexities of drug repurposing. Under the leadership of EATRIS, the European infrastructure for translational medicine, 24 organisations in the fields of clinical and translational research, clinical operations, patient engagement and education, regulatory framework, funding, governance, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and pricing and reimbursement will closely collaborate to make drug repurposing mainstream.

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H2020, 2023-2029

Centre for data enriched medicine (TeamPerMed)

Using advanced experience, medical research progress, and international know-how, the TeamPerMed project empowers the University of Tartu together with Tartu University Hospital to form the independent Centre for Personalised Medicine - TeamPerMed. This Center of Excellence (CoE) will become a multi-disciplinary unit integrating expertise in Genomics, IT, Clinical Medicine, and Socio-Economic Analysis. It will create a scalable framework for developing clinical guidelines and clinical decision support (CDS) tools that can be effectively integrated into EU healthcare systems. With the guidance from the leading expert partners, Erasmus Medical Centre and the University of Helsinki, a vibrant network of associated stakeholders, and the support of EC and the Republic of Estonia, TeamPerMed will become a recognized regional/EU leader in translating genomic and electronic health data to prevent the development of chronic or hereditary disease and offering high-quality personalized medical care. TeamPerMed will stimulate digital transformation in healthcare by using available databases and electronic health records to develop AI tools and protocols effective for prevention/early identification of individual health risks and their consecutive treatment. TeamPerMed CoE intellectual outputs including technology, tools, knowledge, and innovative healthcare practices, will boost Estonia’s and Europe’s competitiveness in the emerging personalised medicine sector, improving the quality of healthcare, prolonging longevity and maximizing health of European citizens, and bringing the advantages of future digital medicine to our citizens already today.

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Horizon Europe, 2022-2027

The pandemic within: tackling brain vulnerability in COVID19 at high resolution: NEUROCOV

The COVID19 pandemic has shown our health care fragility vis a vis novel pathogens, with a global disruption on societal welfare. Despite the towering success of vaccine development, lack of preparedness on integrative clinical and molecular phenotyping has emerged with clarity and highlights the need to scale translational efforts for personalized prevention and therapy. Of particular concern are the long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection with high and rising prevalence of chronic manifestations referred to as Post-COVID. Among these the neurological and psychiatric complications stand out for frequency, lack of treatment and devastating impact of their effects at pandemic scale. Here, we tackle the cognitive and neurodegenerative complications of COVID-19, referred to as NeuroCOVID, as a ticking pandemic within the pandemic that requires an innovation leap across disciplines. We pursue a multi scalar approach that reaches from epidemiology and mechanistic interrogation of host/virus interplay at single cell resolution through predictive modelling all the way to validation of biomarkers and repurposed drugs. The aim is to anticipate and effectively manage personalized trajectories of NeuroCOVID vulnerability and their impact at population level. For this we leverage two leading national health registries and three clinical cohorts to characterize the phenotypic spectrum of NeuroCOVID, its risk factors and its socioeconomic burden at high definition. We pioneer innovative robotics to scale brain organoid modelling and combine it with single cell multiOMICs and AI analytics to dissect the principles of the individual host response and render experimentally actionable the authentic genetic backgrounds of differential SARS-CoV-2 sensitivity. Through a substantive engagement of patients’ collectives and health care stakeholders, upstream integration of innovative pipelines streamlines translation and operationalizes precision medicine for emerging medical needs.

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  • Andrea Ganna

Horizon Europe, 2022-2025

Improve Safety in Polymedication by Managing Drug-Drug-Gene Interactions

Aiming to increase overall patient safety, the EU-funded SafePolyMed research project seeks to develop innovative tools to help physicians and pharmacists better define, assess and manage drug-drug-gene interactions. Machine learning on large real-world data sets will identify patients at risk, model-based precision dosing tools will optimise treatments for patients, and patient-reported outcome measures will evaluate treatment success. Medication management centres will serve as a hub for patients and healthcare providers to explore underlying causes of poor treatment outcomes and define more personalised treatment plans. By educating citizens and empowering them to participate in self-documenting their therapy, the project seeks to improve the communication between patients and physicians and provide equal access to innovative, sustainable, high-quality healthcare across Europe.

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  • Samuli Ripatti

Horizon 2020, 2021-2025

Using real-world big data from eHealth, biobanks and national registries, integrated with clinical trial data to improve outcome of severe mental disorders

With a large number of patients lacking efficient treatment options, mental disorders represent one of the biggest burdens for the European healthcare system. Current treatments are based on a trial-and-error approach; as multi-morbidities are frequent, this often leads to polypharmacy and poor outcomes. The EU-funded REALMENT project aims to optimise the treatment of mental disorders through novel precision medicine strategies based on current pharmaceutical options. The project's efforts will bring world-leading research institutes and the pharmaceutical industry at the forefront of mental disorder research. REALMENT will achieve its objectives by exploiting population-scale Real-World Data (RWD) in combination with Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT) data available to the partners. Big data from populations (Nordic registries), cohorts (European biobanks), and eHealth samples (medical records), including whole genome genotypes (n=1.9 million), will be analysed in an EU-wide sustainable infrastructure using artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop prediction and stratification tools (precision psychiatry).

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  • Aarno Palotie

ITN, 2020 - 2023

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.

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IMI2, 2017 - 2021 & 2020- 2023

HARMONY Healthcare Alliance for Resourceful Medicines Offensive against Neoplasms 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.

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Past projects

FP7, 2013-2020

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.

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H2020, 2014 - 2020

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.

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H2020, 2016-2020

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.

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H2020, 2016-2020

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. 

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IMI2, 2016 - 2021

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.

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Era PerMed, 2019 - 2022

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.

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Era PerMed, 2019 - 2022

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. 

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