Project iPIE: Testing the environmental impact of drugs

The project iPIE: Intelligence Led Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment starts on February 2015 with a kick off meeting at Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) and the participation of the GRIB research groups of Integrative Biomedical Informatics (IBI) and PharmacoInformatics (PhI) of Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) and Pompeu Fabra University (UPF).

It is often ignored that any drug administered to human patients ends up in the environment, either in the original form or as a mixture of drug metabolites. Testing the environmental impact of novel drug candidates is therefore important in order to early discard potentially dangerous ones.

With a budget of 10.2 million euros and a duration of 4 years, the project iPIE aims to develop a predictive framework that utilise existing information and in silico models to support more intelligent environmental testing of pharmaceuticals in development and to prioritise legacy pharmaceuticals for full environmental risk assessment and/or environmental (bio) monitoring.

Main contributions to the project of IBI group, led by Ferran Sanz and Laura I. Furlong, will be the coordination with the related eTOX project, the execution of integrative bioinformatics analyses and the participation in the computational modelling tasks. The PhI group led by Manuel Pastor, will collate data for modelling purposes, both from public and private sources and collaborate in the development of in silico models that will be integrated in the eTOX prediction system.
The iPiE consortium brings together a carefully selected group of 25 partners from different domains: 5 universities, 2 research institutes, 5 SMEs and regulatory agencies and 13 international pharma companies representing EFPIA with Dr. Reinhard Laenge of Bayer Pharma AG as scientific coordinator.

The project is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a joint undertaking between the European Union and the pharmaceutical industry association EFPIA. IMI supports collaborative research projects and builds networks of industrial and academic experts in order to boost pharmaceutical innovation in Europe.

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