Novel methods leading to new medications in depression and schizophrenia (NEWMEDS)

At a Glance
  • Status: Completed Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2009
  • Initiating Organization: Innovative Medicines Initiative
  • Initiator Type: Government
  • Disease focus:
    Depression, Schizophrenia
  • Location: Europe


Despite remarkable advances in medical technologies and nearly 15,000 articles on schizophrenia and depression every year, few truly innovative new medicines have made their way to patients. There has been a tremendous explosion of new knowledge — dozens of genetic variations linked to the disease, hundreds of new molecules and mechanisms in the body identified, numerous scanning techniques distinguishing patients from healthy people — but it has been difficult to translate these findings into novel therapies for patients. Therefore, the Novel methods leading to new medications in depression and schizophrenia (NEWMEDS) consortium will develop three important missing tools that will facilitate the translation of scientific findings into benefits for patients, search for detectable signs of disease in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and the proteins of patients, develop improved experimental models that mimic schizophrenia or depression in humans, and develop and validate tests to analyze the disease progression across species. The project duration is 60 months.


The main objective of NEWMEDS is to develop new models and methods to enable novel treatments for schizophrenia and depression. NEWMEDS will focus on developing new animal models that use brain recording and behavioral tests to identify innovative and effective drugs for schizophrenia. It will develop standardized paradigms and acquisition and analysis techniques to apply brain imaging, especially functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) to drug development. It will examine how new genetic findings (duplication and deletion or changes in genes) influence the response to various drugs and whether this information can be used to choose the right drug for the right patient. And finally, it will attempt to develop new approaches for shorter and more efficient trials of new medication — trials that may require fewer patients and give faster results.

Consortium History

Jan. 9, 2009: Project started
May 2013: NEWMEDS presented results at the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) Joint Undertaking (JU) Stakeholder Forum in Brussels
January 2014: Scientists from the NEWMEDS project published a paper in Nature revealing the impact of schizophrenia genes in healthy carriers
June 2014: NEWMEDS published a paper in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Structure & Governance

The project coordinator is the intermediary between IMI-JU and the consortium in all scientific and industry-related concerns. The Managing Entity is the second intermediary between IMI-JU and the consortium and is concerned with contractual and funding-related matters concerning the participating academic institutions and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Together they form the project executive, with the assistance of the deputy coordinator and an appointed legal advisor. Each Work Package has an academic lead and a deputy lead from industry. They are jointly responsible for the milestones and deliverables of their Work Packages and for engaging and communicating with all partners. The Project Governing Board consists of one representative nominated by each of the participating institutions that comprise the consortium.

H. Lundbeck A/S is responsible for overall coordination of NEWMEDS. King’s College London operates as the Managing Entity for all participating academic institutions and SMEs. The day-to-day management is the responsibility of GABO:mi, which also functions as the central contact point for everyone involved in this project.

Project Coordinator
Tine Bryan Stensbøl
Discovery Pharmacology Research

Managing Entity of IMI Beneficiaries
Shitij Kapur
King’s College London

Project Office
Kathrin Stoller
Project Manager
phone: +49 (0)89 288 104 15
fax: +49 (0)89 288 104 915


This project is funded by IMI, a public-private partnership between the European Union (EU) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the EU Seventh Framework Programme and EFPIA companies’ in kind contribution. Large pharmaceutical companies participating in IMI projects do not receive IMI funding. IMI funding is €8.2 million, EFPIA in kind funding is €12.4 million, and other funding is €2.6 million, for a total cost of €23.2 million.

Intellectual Property

The IMI intellectual property (IP) policy governs the IP regime of all projects funded by the IMI Joint Undertaking. To assist with specific IP queries, IMI has set up a dedicated IP Helpdesk, which can be contacted by emailing The IMI IP policy can be accessed at

Data Sharing

According to IMI’s IP policy, the participants undertake to disseminate the data as soon as reasonably practicable but not later than one year after the termination or expiry of the project. The project agreement shall include a description of the material, which must be disseminated in accordance with the IP policy and referenced in the grant agreement. If the participants do not disseminate within such time periods without good reason, then the Executive Office has the right to disseminate such results in a manner consistent with the grant agreement.

NEWMEDS lists tools for dissemination on its website at

Points of Contact

Tine Bryan Stensbøl
Discovery Pharmacology Research
H. Lundbeck
Copenhagen-Valby, Denmark
phone: +45 3630 1311 Ext. 33638

Shitij Kapur
Institute of Psychiatry
King’s College London
phone: +442078480593

Kathrin Stoller
phone: +49 (0)89 288 104 15
fax: +49 (0)89 288 104 915

Sponsors & Partners

Abbott Laboratories

Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

Bar Ilan University

Eli Lilly and Company Ltd.

F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG

GABO:mi Gesellschaft für Ablauforganisation:milliarium mbH & Co KG

H. Lundbeck A/S

Institut De Recherches Servier

Islensk Erfdagreining EHF

Janssen Pharmaceutica NV

Karolinska Institutet

King’s College London

Novartis Pharma AG

Orion Corporation

Pfizer Limited, Sandwich, UK - Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Psynova Neurotech Ltd.

The University of Manchester

University of Cambridge

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit

Last Updated: 04/08/2016

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