ECNP currently supports three major new pan-European research enterprises:
The PRISM (Psychiatric Ratings using Intermediate Stratified Markers) Project, funded under the Innovative Medicines Initiative, is a bold attempt by the European Union to foster ground-breaking cross-sector collaboration. A landmark multimillion- euro project to find the biological basis for social withdrawal, PRISM seeks to open a window onto the underlying pathologies that connect such major disorders as depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. The potential long-term payoff is enormous. If a common biological mechanism for behavioural markers such social withdrawal can be found, linking apparently very different diseases, the possibility arises not only of understanding brain disorders and the processes that drive them in profoundly new ways but of developing whole new avenues of treatment.
The European Quality in Preclinical Data project – EQIPD – is an ambitious project to tackle some of the major problems of developing new drugs to treat brain diseases. The €9.5m EQIPD project will last three years and unite more than 20 research groups from industry and academia. It aims to establish systematic guidelines, and ensure drug safety, for researchers developing new neurological drugs for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.The EQIPD project is supported through the Innovative Medicines Initiative a partnership between the EU and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. It is co-ordinated by Prof Malcolm Macleod of the University of Edinburgh and the project leader is Thomas Steckler of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV. The project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 777364. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and EFPIA (the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations)
Eat2beNICE (Effects of Nutrition and Lifestyle on Impulsive, Compulsive and Externalising Behaviours), another multimillion project, this time under the EU’s Horizon 2020 funding programme, is a pioneering exploration of the nervous system highway that connects our brain to our digestive organs to understand how nutrition interacts with mental health, and in particular whether diet can be linked to control disorders such as impulsivity, compulsivity, addiction and aggression. Perhaps the most comprehensive and ambitious project of its kind yet, Eat2beNICE is shining a new light into the darkness that separates what we consume as organisms from how we behave as humans.