IMI2 Launch to Further Innovative Medicines Initiative Success

The European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises – EBE - a specialised group of EFPIA - the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, is pleased to announce the European Commission launch of the IMI2 research funding initiative, which will build upon the success of the Innovative Medicines Initiative in a continued effort to bring innovative solutions to patients.

IMI is a public-private partnership between the European Commission and EFPIA with its specialised groups Vaccines Europe and European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises. Under the new EU framework programme Horizon 2020, IMI2 will carry on the collaborative spirit of IMI by bringing together the pharmaceutical industry, European government, and health research partners and patients to advance scientific research and development for a healthy European society and citizens.

IMI2 is jointly funded by EFPIA and health research industry partners and the European Commission’s innovation investment package, which today presented a strategy to support public-private partnerships in EU-funded research. IMI2 aims to advance trends in personalised medicines; to further R&D in areas of unmet medical need; and to address the regulatory context in hopes of speeding translation from research to innovation. EBE particularly welcomes the Commission proposal’s intent to support innovative small and medium sized enterprises, as well for efforts to cut the red tape that can impede progress of EU research, an essential step in improving patient access to innovation in Europe.

Richard Bergström, Director General of EFPIA, stated: “The Innovative Medicines Initiative is unarguably a success story. IMI projects have already shown a positive impact on research and development: By pooling resources, the NEWMEDS project has created the largest known database of studies on schizophrenia. The New Drugs for Bad Bugs Programme has launched project to tackle the growing threat of anti-microbial resistance – a growing public health threat. The eTox project is developing a drug safety database based on both industry and public toxicology data, in a step towards greater safety for patients.”

“These are just a few of many IMI success stories. I mention them because they exemplify what IMI is all about: support of collaborative research that can advance medicines development, addressing relevant public health problems and areas of unmet need. Now is the time to take this momentum, and go even further by expanding our vision. We need to look not only at how we can improve innovation but also at how we can improve patient access to innovation. PPPs can help us on the path. In 2004, the World Health Organization report on priority medicines identified PPPs as a promising solution for addressing challenges in pharmaceutical innovation. The 2013 version of this WHO report, released yesterday, details the ‘considerable progress’ made by such innovative research initiatives since then.”

“Collaborative research is essential for future innovation and it is ever more critical that all stakeholders join up thinking for greater results for the patients in Europe. IMI opens this door for collaboration and I am very exited about this opportunity to strengthen biopharmaceutical ecosystem, particularly with access for smaller healthcare biotech companies in Europe” stated Roberto Gradnik, EBE President.

Executive Director of IMI, Michel Goldman said: “Previous IMI projects have shown how open innovation can move us forward as we tackle the biggest battles still remaining in medical research. Collaboration is the key if we are to advance research in a manner and at a pace that will allow for maximum benefit for society. This means collaboration among diverse organisations, and ongoing financial support for all relevant research efforts: Public-private partnerships and traditional research institutions are to compliment, not compete with, one another.”

Following the example of IMI success stories, IMI2 aims to address R&D challenges in areas of unmet medical need. An IMI2 Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) was developed to pinpoint key areas of engagement that can be best tackled together by stakeholders and that will ensure the most relevant results for society. Following further consultation, a finalised SRA is anticipated this autumn.


About EBE

The European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises (EBE) is the European trade association that represents biopharmaceutical companies of all sizes operating in Europe. It has 50 member companies - many of which are small and medium sized companies - engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of new medicinal products using biotechnology. EBE also operates as the biotechnology arm of EFPIA, the European pharmaceutical industry federation.

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