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New Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases: “ND4ID”

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ND4ID (New Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases: “ND4ID”)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2018-02-28

Infectious diseases are a major burden to public health and the global economy, not in the least due to antimicrobial
resistance. Rapid point of care (POC) in vitro diagnostics (IVD) are key tools in the effective clinical management of patients
with infectious diseases. Yet there is still a large unmet clinical need for more rapid POC IVDs generating more clinically
relevant, actionable information. Effectively addressing this need requires a change in the current approach in training
researchers on IVDs, generating a new ‘breed’ of IVD researchers capable of closing the gap between the clinical and
technological perspective. ND4ID takes up this challenge by offering 15 ESRs a world-class first of its kind training
programme where they will be exposed to the full breadth of disciplines spanning clinical, technological and market-oriented
viewpoints, from both the academic and non-academic sector. Through a set of synergistic research projects on novel POC
assays, targeting the most important and urgent clinical needs at world leading academic or private sector research groups,
the ESRs are offered a holistic training program, preparing them to be lead players in the future IVD field. This training
through research is augmented by a unique comprehensive network-wide training programme covering clinical, technical
and translational knowledge and skills of relevance to IVD research, development and exploitation. As such, ND4ID will
deliver ESRs that will be in high demand serving as an example for other academic and non-academic actors active in
training IVD researchers and further strengthening Europe’s position in the internally competitive arena of IVD technology.
The project hired all of its ESRs and all started generating interesting results as summarised in the technical part B.

Apart from the research program, the ESRs had 3 network-wide training programs
During the first network-wide training event in Antwerp, a first aim was to bring the ESRs together, to make them a team and to make them aware of their tasks and responsibilities within the ND4ID program. A second aim was to educate the ESRs on clinical and technological aspects related to dx development, following our CLIN and TECH programs.
During the second network-wide training event in Stockholm, the ESRs were trained on which clinical samples to expect, how these are processed now and how the properties of the sample affect diagnostic tests. A second aim was to educate the ESRs on ethical, regulatory and legal aspects.
During the third network-wide training event in Lyon, a first aim was to educate the ESRs in next generation sequencing and its diagnostic potential. Apart from this focus on sequencing, sessions on intellectual property and on quality management systems for IVD manufacturing were provided as well as a visit to the bioMérieux facilities demonstrating the Filmarray platform and visiting the production facilities.
Each of the individual ESRs addresses one of the current critical issues in dx development ranging from investigating novel biomarkers over bioassay development or creating building blocks for novel diagnostics tools. In addition, many ESRs have published their first papers. Moreover, some results are directed toward practical implementation such as the microfluidic customised antibody development tool of Pharmabs, the rapid and cheap urine dipstick diagnostic of KTH or the sequencing-based developments at bioMérieux. Aim for the second half of the project is to further build and communicate on these results, including to a layman's audience.
Matrix of ESR interaction bridging the clinical and technological aspects of dx development