Brussels - July 10, 2013 - EFPIA and its specialised groups, Vaccines Europe and European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises, are 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, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. 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.

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. EFPIA particularly welcomes the Commission proposal’s intent 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.”

Executive Director of IMI, Michel Goldman said: “Previous IMI projects have shown how collaborative research can move us forward to address major public health needs. I am convinced that the trustful partnership built between the stakeholders in healthcare will deliver game-changing advances for the benefit of patients and society”.

Joe Jimenez, CEO of Novartis and Vice-President at EFPIA, confirmed EFPIA’s commitment to IMI, adding, “Patients and the society they live in need innovation. I am very happy that in IMI2 the focus on getting innovation to patients is strengthened via increased collaboration with regulators and payers.”

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.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, stated: “Chronic and degenerative diseases are placing a growing burden on our health systems. The second more ambitious phase of the Innovative Medicines Initiative will help develop the next generation of cost-efficient vaccines, medicines and treatments that Europe desperately needs. By working together, IMI2 partners can share the risks and high development costs to make the innovative breakthroughs needed to keep Europe's citizens healthier for longer.”

More information on IMI 2 can be found here. 

About EFPIA: 

EFPIA represents the pharmaceutical industry operating in Europe. Through its direct membership of 33 national associations and 40 leading pharmaceutical companies, EFPIA provides the voice of 1,900 companies committed to researching, developing and bringing new medicines to improve health and quality of life around the world. The pharmaceutical industry invests 30 billion on research and development per year in Europe and directly employs 700,000 people including 116,000 in R&D units in Europe.

EFPIA members are committed to delivering innovative medicines to address unmet needs of patients and reducing the burden of chronic diseases for Europe’s ageing population. EFPIA believes in close cooperation with its stakeholders to help create sustainable healthcare   systems and to develop prompt responses to health threats in Europe.


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