From left to right: Inari Soininen and Mery Loor.

What is SYNAPSE’s main field of specialization?
Synapse is a firm specialized in the high-quality management of complex research and development projects in the biomedical sector. In fact, we have close to 15 years of experience preparing and managing research projects in the healthcare sector funded by European programs such as IMI, H2020 or the most recently released Horizon Europe. Our company goes beyond classical project management and brings in added value capabilities in team management, vision management, strategic thinking, and project intelligence.

How has your company been involved in the project?
We provide professional project management solving trade-offs between scope, time, cost and quality to ensure adequate progress and successful completion of the Project. In TransQST we have been taking care of the management activities of the project including areas such as scientific coordination in support of the project Executive Committee, promoting cohesion among partners, management of financial and legal aspects as well risk management and deliverable quality control procedures. We are also co-leading the project communication and dissemination activities.

Our day-to-day includes liaising with IMI2, controlling and updating the work plan, scheduling control, implementing corrective actions when needed, supporting the Governance bodies, particularly the WP leaders in their day-to-day management, decision making, conflict mediation and consensus building. Also, we work to assure the timely submission of the project deliverables, coordinating all administrative milestones according to IMI2 rules and promoting synergy and efficiency throughout the Consortium. We also implement and design all centralized project communication and dissemination activities and support partners in their respective activities to communicate the project results.

What are your main achievements in TransQST? And the main challenges that your team has faced across the project? 
Our main achievement is to have helped to create a successful structural framework for the project which has allowed the consortium to work together towards transforming project plans into successful results.

One of the biggest challenges in these 68 months has been to readjust the project timelines and work plans due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused a delay in the initial project plan. However, we are happy to say that this experienced demonstrated the great cohesion and collaborative spirit present in the consortium. Partners strived to meet their respective timelines and worked together to alleviate the effects of the pandemic, while also trying to identify alternative ways to complete their tasks.

What do you believe is the main contribution of TransQST in the field?
When developing a new medicine, it is important to identify any possible adverse effects it might cause to humans as early as possible in the drug development pipeline. Indeed, early assessment of the drug safety profile and detection of any adverse effects on organs such as the heart, liver, gastrointestinal system or kidneys is key in the path for the development of safer and faster drugs.

Bearing this in mind, TransQST is gathering data and developing predictive models and tools to make it easier to assess the safety profile of potential medicines. As a result, this work will improve the safety of medicines while reducing the use of animals in research. The project has an ample list of tools and models that are being integrated in different repositories and disseminated in order to guarantee the access to this knowledge to the wider scientific community after project end. Overall, we are happy to say that TransQST has had a significant impact in the field of systems toxicology!