Posts by Synapse Managers

The Project’s 2nd GA was held in Berlin, Germany, on the 23rd and 24th of October 2017 where the most advanced technology in data sharing was presented to contribute to a better understanding of hematologic cancers. Public and private organizations will contribute data on most hematologic cancers. The use of a common data model will allow to conduct analysis at an unprecedented scale.

Synapse is member of the HARMONY’s Project Management Office, and supports the Executive and Steering Committees in facilitating collaboration and ensuring the effective contribution from all partners in this ambitious project.

Read more at: press release

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Carlos Diaz, CEO of Synapse, and Dr. Montserrat Cases, Project Manager at Synapse, are co-authors of a Comment published in the prestigious scientific magazine Nature Reviews Drug Discovery that summarises the relevance of data sharing for improving the in silico prediction of organ toxicities in the drug development pipeline, the challenges faced and lessons learned during eTOX project. The eTOX project – Integrating bioinformatics and chemoinformatics approaches for the development of expert systems allowing the in silico prediction of toxicities- is an IMI project which run from January 2010 to December 2016.

Article: “Legacy data sharing to improve drug safety assessment: the eTOX project” Ferran Sanz, François Pognan, Thomas Steger-Hartmann, Carlos Díaz, eTOX, Montserrat Cases, et al. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 2017. doi:10.1038/nrd.2017.177

More info:at: Nature Reviews|Drug Discovery

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The APM Project Management Awards 2017, sponsored by RPC UK Ltd, recognises the achievements of the Project Management profession and rewards the work of young project managers and experienced professionals working in complex projects.

The EPAD project, in which Synapse is the Project Manager, is finalist in the Category of Social Project of the year. This category is for projects with the specific aim of developing solutions that deliver benefits to society- locally, regionally, nationally and globally.

The ceremony will be held on Monday 20th November 2017 at the Old Billingsgate in London. Sandra Pla will be attending on behalf of Synapse.

More info about IMI2 EPAD in:

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Synapse is the project manager for the IMI 2 five-year project, Enhancing Translational Safety Assessment through Integrative Knowledge Management (eTRANSAFE). The project officially started on September 1st 2017 while the official kick of will be in Barcelona (Spain) on the 26-27 of the same month. The project aims to develop an advanced data integration infrastructure together with innovative computational methods to improve the security in drug development process.

The eTRANSAFE project aims at improving the safety assessment across the drug discovery and development process by applying bioinformatics approaches to shared preclinical and clinical data to systematically analyse the translatability of effects. Thus, enabling the optimisation of resources and the development of safer medicines.
The main specific objectives of the eTRANSAFE project are:

  • The development of a state-of-the-art, powerful and flexible strategy and technological architecture for data sharing (diverse sources of nonclinical and clinical data), data integration and data exploitation.
  • The implementation of the following key elements for this architecture: a specialised SEND (“standards for the exchange of non-clinical data”) data management system, a database of shared proprietary data managed by an honest broker, a Knowledge Hub providing seamless access to all the databases and data sources, and an ecosystem of data exploitation modules.
  • The establishment of overarching policies and guidelines for safeguarded data sharing, secondary use of human safety data and use of pooled data and models in drug safety assessment.
  • Optimising how preclinical studies are run and how the industry designs these studies.

Based on the experience gained in the previous eTOX project, in which Synapse was also the Project Manager, the eTRANSAFE project will carry out key efforts in the field of data standardisation and quality control, promoting the development and implementation of relevant data sharing policies and procedures that will have a great global impact in the community.

The eTRANSAFE consortium is formed by a private and public partnership of 8 academic institutions, 6 SMEs and 12 pharmaceutical companies which is coordinated by Ferran Sanz from the Fundació Institut Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) and lead by François Pognan from Novartis Pharma AG. The project is co-coordinated by Carlos Diaz from Synapse, and Thomas Steger-Hartmann from Bayer AG., is the deputy leader.
The eTRANSAFE project is mainly sponsored by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the European pharmaceutical industry (via EFPIA) under the auspices of the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (
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Synapse participates in the IMI 2 DRIVE project (Development of Robust and Innovative Vaccines Effectiveness) carrying out specific tasks mainly at the project management level. The 5 years project kicked off on the 17th to the 19th July 2017 in the city of Valencia (Spain) and counted with the attendance of the members of the consortium.

Along with Synapse, the DRIVE project is formed by a consortium coordinated by Fundación Fisabio (Spain), while other members are the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (France), P95 CVBA (Belgium), the Università degli Studi di Firenze (Italy), the National Institute for Health and Welfare (Finland), Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italy), University of Surrey (United Kingdom), Confederation of Meningitis Organisations Ltd. (United Kngdom), Université Claude Bernard Lyon (France), Association Internationale de Standardisation Biologique pour L’Europe (France), Sanofi Pasteur (France), Abbott Biologicals B.V. (The Netherlands), Seqirus UK Limited (United Kngdom) and Glaxosmithkline Biologicals (Belgium).

Influenza is a major public health problem which can infect annually 60 of the 500 million inhabitants of the European Union. Vaccines are the cornerstone for preventing influenza and its consequences. Current influenza vaccines have a moderate variable effect, given the mismatch between vaccine and circulating strains, waning immunity and interference from previous vaccination, among others.

The single most important challenge in achieving Vaccine Effectiveness studies is the ability of the different stakeholders to work in collaboration. Indeed, to enable a sustainable network of influenza Vaccine Effectiveness studies, the Development of Robust and Innovative Vaccines Effectiveness (DRIVE) main goal will be the development of a governance model between public and private entities.

A second challenge will be to reach the capacity to perform vaccine brand- specific effectiveness studies, which is agile enough to deliver the needed outputs in timely manner, and robust enough to provide results by different age and risk groups and flexible enough to utilize novel tools while at the same time aims to be sustainable.

Combining these outputs, DRIVE will establish a sustainable platform for joint influenza vaccine effectiveness evaluation which will have a positive impact on European citizens public health.

DRIVE project is mainly sponsored by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the European pharmaceutical industry (via EFPIA) under the auspices of the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (