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The end of an era and beginning of a new one: INNODIA HARVEST Final annual meeting

22. April 2024

As we started with the first annual meeting of INNODIA in Leuven (Belgium), back in 2016, we are now reaching the end of INNODIA HARVEST at the same location. Approximately 130 participants gathered together in-person and remotely to look back on the project.

At this final meeting, we looked back at the victories and hurdles of managing this huge EU project. What did we learn to improve future projects and collaborations? One of the keys to success was incorporating the voice of those living with T1D. INNODIA was a pioneer in including a Patient Advisory Committee (PAC) in several aspects of project implementation. It was rewarding to hear that including a PAC is now a mandatory requirement for acceptance of an EU project. Finally, key learnings from the 4 clinical trials, which ran in INNODIA and INNODIA HARVEST, were discussed.

The second day was filled with scientific discussions on important milestones that were tackled in the INNODIA framework and on how to move forward with innovative studies to prevent, cure, and better understand T1D. Together, we published 250 research papers within the 8 years running time of the project. INNODIA HARVEST aimed to 'harvest' the findings that had already arisen from INNODIA. The consolidation of the INNODIA Clinical Network has established a pan-European reference for conducting clinical trials. From the MELD-ATG trial, to the VER-A-T1D and Imcyse's Impact studies; our network's efforts are diverse yet unified in aim. Novartis's study with Iscalimab further highlights our commitment to stopping disease progression early on. We generated the INNODIA Master Protocol, enabling the comparison of different interventions, and introduced novel biomarkers and technologies, like continuous glucose monitoring and microbiome analysis. These advancements are crucial for understanding T1D's heterogeneity, leading to quicker, more effective treatments.

This meeting was much more than just an event, it's a milestone in the journey towards understanding and combating T1D. And remember, every closed door opens a new one… INNODIA gave rise to a large sample and data repository, and last but not least, a group of scientist became a true family! In this way, the spirit of INNODIA will persist through the recently created INNODIA iVZW.