Posts by Synapse_

The EPAD project, one of the major studies in Europe to find interventions that prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia, has recruited its first participant. Julie Duffus, from Edinburgh (Scotland), is the first person to take part in the project.

Participants will have regular health checks including blood tests and brain scans. Researchers will also track their thinking skills over time using tests of mental agility. Afterwards, they will be invited to take part in clinical trials aimed at testing interventions that could delay, or even prevent, the onset of dementia.

According to Carlos Diaz, project manager of EPAD and CEO of SYNAPSE Research Management Partners: “The first patient in is one of the key and most exciting milestones in EPAD, the first step towards building the Longitudinal Cohort Study that will help us better understand early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. We are proud at SYNAPSE of our role as Algorithm Running Committee, which plays a critical part in the selection of all 6,000 volunteers to be involved in the EPAD project from across Europe.”

The 5-year, 36-partner, 64-million euro, Europe-wide initiative aims to improve understanding of the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and how it leads to dementia. EPAD is mainly sponsored by the European Commission and the European pharmaceutical industry (via EFPIA) under the auspices of the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking (IMI JU). For more information:

SYNAPSE supports the organization of the 1st European Conference on Translational Bioinformatics (ECTB 2016) that will happen at the University of Copenhagen on April 26-27 2016.

The conference, organized by the “Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research” at the University of Copenhagen and supported by the Horizon 2020 MedBioinformatics project, will address among others the following topics:

  • Big biomedical data approaches converting health data to clinically relevant information
  • Health data capture and curation
  • Phenotypic data and metadata
  • Precision medicine
  • Data integration and analytics combining molecular biomarker data with clinical data
  • Secure private cloud technology for person-sensitive data
  • The future of sustainable healthcare models
  • Ethics and data protection  in the context of medical informatics

MedBioinformatics plans to support the organization of three conferences (one per year) during its life, happening in Copenhagen, London and Barcelona respectively, with the objective of consolidating the event (the first of its kind in Europe) beyond the project life as a reference framework for meeting, discussing and presenting advancements and challenges around the bioinformatics area in Europe.

The conference will bring together world-leading scientists in the area and aims to give the participants a unique experience and a forum for discussing fresh scientific results in the translational domain.

For more information about the conference and registration, please visit:


SYNAPSE is proud to co-organise the “Harmonized Safety Monitoring of Immunization in Pregnancy International Consensus Conference” that will happen at the NIH Campus (Bethesda, MD, USA) on March 29-30 2016.

The conference, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GAIA project, will aim to highlight progress in harmonizing safety monitoring of immunization in pregnancy and to develop consensus recommendations for a globally concerted approach.

Specifically, the conference will allow critical face-to-face review of GAIA outputs (first set of 10 case definitions, guidance for data collection, and data collection matrix) with regulators, public health agencies, manufacturers and academia in the context of current achievements and challenges in the evolving field of immunization in pregnancy. Discussions related to the GAIA project will focus on acceptability and usefulness of the outcomes in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) and on promoting their recommendation and future implementation by stakeholder organizations.

For more information about the conference, please visit:


The company’s annual retreat took place this year in December in Artchimboldi in Barcelona. During two full days, SYNAPSE’s team was fully immersed on internal training and discussions around SYNAPSE.

Training was focused on in-depth knowledge of overall impact and sustainability of research results, stakeholder management, analysis of best practices when it comes to the management of complex distributed project, and approaches for improving legal, financial and communication efforts.

The corporate strategy sessions addressed aspects such as quality, proficiency and corporate communications as key pillars, and counted with the contributions of all members of the team to the lively discussions. 2016 comes full of interesting projects and challenges that will require commitment and enthusiasm.

We are all ready here.


The European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia Consortium (EPAD), a project co-funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), announces today the official launch of The EPAD website is devoted to inform different audiences including the scientific community, companies, people with dementia, families and carers, Alzheimer associations and the general public, about the project’s existence, its progress and its achievements.


SYNAPSE will attend the eHealth Week 2015 that will be held in Riga (Latvia) on 11-13 May 2015. Ángel Honrado, SYNAPSE’s Head of the Projects and Services Unit, will be in the event as part of the delegation of the FP7 SEMCARE project, which will be presenting a demonstration of the platform’s prototype in booth 705. As leader of the Business Modelling and Dissemination activities in SEMCARE, SYNAPSE’s role will focus on collecting feedback from the different stakeholders attending the event, which will be key for identifying and analysing their needs and use their inputs for the business roadmap that is currently under development.


The eHealth Week 2015 comprises two main events: the High Level eHealth Conference and the WoHIT (World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition) organised. Over 2,000 international delegates and 75 exhibitors are expected to attend the event, which count with global decision makers from public and private healthcare sectors, clinicians, hospital and IT managers, among others attendees. Besides the two main events, all eHealth Week participants can attend a range of sessions and activities including mHealth Summit EuropeEU SME eHealth Competition, an onsite Matchmaking Event and a state of the art exhibition including country pavilions from all over the world.

The programme of the whole event is available here

Synapse is the lead project manager for the EPAD project (European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia Consortium), kicked-off on Jan 14-15, 2015 in Paris, which will work with 1.500 volunteers around Europe to participate in clinical trials towards the prevention of Alzheimer.
The EPAD project ( is aimed at creating a platform for faster and better assessment of drugs for the prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia in people at risk of developing the disease, but with no or mild symptoms
A consortium of 35 academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, SMEs and patient organisations have joined forces to develop this ambitious project, funded under the auspices of the Innovative Medicines Initiative ( programme.

Three Spanish organisations participation in the EPAD consortium:
– Synapse Research Management Partners SL (SYNAPSE)
– Barcelonabeta Brain Research Center (BBRC)
– Araclon Biotech S.L. (ARACLON)

The project is co-led by Janssen Pharmaceutica and the University of Edinburgh. Synapse co-leads the Project Management and Sustainability work packages.

For more information, please visit or email us at

ACCIÓ, the Catalan Agency for Business Competitiveness, has published a Guide for managing Horizon 2020 projects,  written by SYNAPSE. The publication, authored by Ángel Honrado, Carlos Díaz and Eva Molero, is focused on the funding opportunities available in Horizon 2020 (and other European programmes) for the SMEs at the different stages of the research and innovation process.

Guia Acció

The PDF version of the guide, available only in Catalan, can be downloaded free here 

This guide gives an overview of the current European funding available, focusing on the Horizon 2020 programme and highlights the benefits of creating an international consortium to carry out R&D. The document goes through the different phases of a project, going from the preparation of the proposal until its execution.

It emphasises the importance of several components of EU research projects, such as the business plan, the communication, and the use and dissemination of results.

SYNAPSE has already developed previous editions of this guide in 2009 and 2010, focused on projects funded by the 7th Framework Programme.


Nature Reviews Drug Discovery has published an article addressing the link between the ongoing IMI projects and regulatory science. The article entitled The Innovative Medicines Initiative: an engine for regulatory science highlights key outcomes of several IMI projects, together with lessons learned, now that IMI is moving to its second phase.

The article refers to several projects funded within IMI 1 –eTOX, ADVANCE and EPAD- in which Synapse participates with responsibilities in project management, sustainability and dissemination.

The importance to translate scientific results into the regulatory framework are highlighted in this article, together with a call to projects to start contacts with the regulatory bodies as early as possible in order to align regulatory requirements as much as possible.

Synapse brings together 56 academic, pharmaceutical and SME partners, including 120 European scientists from the European Medical Information Framework (EMIF) project, in Barcelona during the week of the 8th-12th December.


IMI Logo2014-HorizPos

As the overall Project Manager of the EMIF project, Synapse will welcome the EMIF project partners to Barcelona for a week of events that will take place. The EMIF project gathers 57 partner organizations from across Europe for five years (2013-2017) with a budget of 56 million Euro to develop a common information framework of patient-level data that will link and facilitate access to diverse medical and research data sources, opening up new avenues of research for scientists. To provide a focus and guidance for the development of the framework (the EMIF Platform), the project is focusing on questions relating to obesity and Alzheimer’s disease.

Each of the three EMIF topics, Alzheimer’s, Metabolic and Platform, will hold their General Assembly meetings during the week of 8th-12th of December 2014. As all partners will be in the same location, EMIF week also offers an important opportunity for cross-topic meetings and scientific debates to take place. The meetings will allow for partners to share project progress and to examine solutions to scientific challenges identified in EMIF to date.

In addition, an EMIF Colloquium has been organized which will allow EMIF partners to explain the importance of real world data and the potential of EMIF unlocking this information, to a broader audience. The Colloquium attendees will consist of local stakeholders, pharmaceutical companies, the research community and media.
All project meetings will take place in Hotel H10 Marina in Barcelona, and the Colloquium will take place at the nearby Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB).

An overview of the agenda is as follows:
• Dec 8-9: General Assembly for EMIF-AD
• Dec 10: General Assembly for EMIF-Metabolic
• Dec 10: EMIF Colloquium (Open to external audience)
• Dec 11-12: Consortium Meeting for EMIF-Platform

For more information about the EMIF project visit:


IMI Logo2014-HorizPos