On Wednesday, January 25th all COMBACTE-NET Workpackage Leaders gathered at the Innovative Medicines Initiatives (IMI) Head Office in Brussels for the Midterm Project Review meeting.
COMBACTE-NET started on January 1st 2013 and is scheduled to finish – after an extension for the newly incorporated clinical studies in the workpackages 6E, 7 and 8 – on 28th of February 2021. They came well prepared. The project results up to the end of 2016 were earlier presented to the Scientific and Ethical Advisory Boards during a meeting at Heathrow airport, UK, on 15th of December 2016.
The expert review panel consisted of 6 independent professionals from the academic and industrial world. Some of these experts were also on the earlier expert panel when the original project proposal was assessed back in 2012. They were particularly interested to review the progress made in the past 4 years.
The one-day meeting agenda was very tight as all 22 work packages were scheduled for presentation and discussion with the panel, as well as an introduction to and overview of the past and current consortium. During the day there were intense but constructive discussions on the core of the project, the hospital and laboratory networks and the goal of creating a self-sustainable European Hospital and Laboratory Network for efficient and high quality clinical research in the area of Anti-Microbial Resistance.
After the expert panel held their internal review meeting, they provided their initial feedback to the COMBACTE-NET team. Their feedback was constructive, critical in some areas and positive in others. There were areas identified for improvement and guidelines suggested for the strategy for the remaining period of the project. At the end of the meeting all participants, COMBACTE-NET team, expert panel reviewers, and IMI representatives agreed that the meeting was extremely useful. This will further result in a recalibration of the work packages and activities in the project giving further assurances of meeting all the agreed targets by the end of the project.
The expert panel provided their written report to the COMBACTE-NET project team. The report reflects well the feedback during and at the end of the meeting. It provides clear recommendations for the team to continue the successful parts of the project and review and recalibrate some others.
The COMBACTE-NET team will review the report and build an updated project plan for the future period. The team will submit the plans and answers to the recommendations in an written reply to IMI by May 15th, 2017.