Updates & Features
IMI-PainCare – Improving the Care of Patients Suffering from Acute or Chronic Pain
Can the ambitious goals of the IMI-PainCare public-private partnership revolutionise pain research and development?
PainSolve Editorial Team
Aims of the IMI and the Pain Group collaboration
Established ten years ago, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is a partnership between the European Commission and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).1 The IMI works to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need.1 The IMI-2 is the world’s biggest public-private partnership in life sciences, with a €3.3 billion budget for the period 2014–2020.1 Grünenthal have been involved in the ‘Patients Active in Research and Dialogues for an Improved Generation of Medicines’ (PARADIGM) project and will also join other initiatives to establish networks of specialists, including the ‘European Screening Center Unique Library of Attractive Biology’ (ESCulab), and ‘Linking digital assessment of mobility to clinical endpoints to drive regulatory acceptance and clinical practice’. Pain remains at the forefront of Grünenthal’s priorities, and the IMI Pain Group provides opportunities to further advance research in this area.
The IMI Pain Group unites companies of the EFPIA who are dedicated to better understand, treat and manage pain. It was founded in 2015 as a section of the IMI Strategic Governance Group Neurodegeneration.2 The IMI offers a framework to achieve this aim, as it facilitates collaboration between pharmaceutical companies, universities, small-midsized enterprises, patient organisations, regulators, and others.2 The Pain Group establishes a portfolio of pain projects, organised as public-private partnerships, that address a broad spectrum of challenges with particular societal value. The first collaborative project, NGN-PET, of the IMI Pain Group with renowned public partners was started in April 2017 and applies novel approaches to understanding neuropathic pain. Now a second project, IMI-PainCare, aims to address specific scientific challenges.
The IMI-PainCare Public-Private Partnership
Co-led by Petra Bloms-Funke, Grünenthal, and Rolf-Detlef Treede, University of Heidelberg, IMI-PainCare is a consortium composed of 40 participants from 14 countries, which is aimed at improving the care of patients suffering from acute or chronic pain.3 This initiative will involve the development of a toolbox that can streamline the research and development process for novel analgesic drugs and improve treatment quality in clinical practice.3 The project comprises three sub-projects: PROMPT, BioPain and TRiPP.3
PROMPT – providing a core set of patient-reported outcome measures
Led by Winfried Meissner, University of Jena, and Hiltrud Liedgens, Grünenthal, PROMPT aims to improve the management of pain by defining a core set of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) that are predictive indicators of treatment success in controlled trials as well as real-world conditions. This core set of PROMs will address pain intensities, functional consequences of pain and help identify patients at risk of experiencing chronification of acute post-operative pain. The objective is to implement the standard use of the core set of PROMs in randomised controlled trials and care of pain patients in clinical practice. It is hoped that the outputs of the initiative will help healthcare professionals to improve pain management and the patient’s quality of life.
BioPain – pharmacological validation of functional pain biomarkers in healthy subjects and animals
Led by Rolf-Detlef Treede, University of Heidelberg, and Keith Phillips, Eli Lilly and Company, BioPain aims to validate functional biomarkers and establish pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic models in healthy humans and back-translate to rodents to improve candidate selection and increase the chance of a successful translation from pre-clinical to clinical development. The main hypothesis driving this work is that effect sizes of analgesic actions on at least some objective biomarkers of nociceptive signal processing can be translated between rodents, healthy volunteers undergoing surrogate models of pain sensitisation and patients suffering from chronic pain.
TRiPP – improving translation in chronic pelvic pain
Led by Katy Vincent, University of Oxford, and Jens Nagel, Bayer, TRiPP aims to determine subgroups within endometriosis and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome and identify biomarkers of these clinical phenotypes. The main hypothesis driving this project is that the symptoms of pain experienced by women suffering from these conditions are generated and maintained by mechanisms similar to those found in other chronic pain conditions, but occur in combination with specific pathological lesions and symptoms. By reconceptualising these conditions, meaningful subgroups of patients can be identified and better pre-clinical models developed, ultimately helping to facilitate drug development in this field.
Staying up to date with IMI-PainCare
More information on IMI-PainCare can be found at https://www.imi-paincare.eu/ including a calendar of events and list of partners for each sub-project. We look forward to seeing the progress made in these initiatives, and updates are expected to be published online towards the end of 2018.
- IMI. Available at: https://www.imi.europa.eu/about-imi/history-imi-story-so-far
- IMI. Available at: https://www.imi.europa.eu/about-imi/governance/strategic-governing-groups
- IMI PainCare. Available at: https://www.imi-paincare.eu/