Innovative Modelling for Pharmacological Advances through Collaborative Training (IMPACT)
IMPACT is an EU FP7-funded Marie Curie Initial Training Networks (ITN) project (number 316736) co-ordinated by Dr Mike Chappell from the University of Warwick (UoW) in partnership with AstraZeneca (AZ), Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre (FCC), Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). It is training Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to develop new tools and techniques to support the emerging field of Quantitative and Systems Pharmacology (QSP) and enabling them to perform research projects at the forefront of international pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) analysis. The project builds upon extremely strong research and training links already formed between the UoW and AZ (UK) in PK/PD modelling and supports the clearly identified need within AZ worldwide to train more personnel with high-level skills in systems modelling for future drug development.
The most effective drugs are those that produce clinical benefit by modulating disease biology and are given to patients at an optimal dose and schedule. In order to deliver new drugs it is necessary to quantify, translate and simulate from the test tube to the patient. This includes being able to model biological pathways, quantify relationships between dose/exposure, target engagement, efficacy and safety in pre-clinical tests and humans and utilising all relevant information efficiently and quantitatively. The development and application of innovative modelling techniques to tackle current problems in drug development allied to the training of researchers with skills to perform these tasks are key drivers for the partners.
A unique blend of multidisciplinary training is being offered to the ESRs by both partners through well-established, extensive and innovative programmes at their sites with the appointed ESRs registered for PhDs at the UoW. The ESR projects are based on research problems and data generated at AZ. The outcomes of the projects not only maintain the positions of AZ and the UoW at the forefront of international research in PK/PD analysis, they greatly enhance the EU’s worldwide standing in this area, and also improve the future job prospects of those trained within the AZ group worldwide.