The IMI2 is a research funding initiative, funded by EFPIA and the European Commission, 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. Under the EU framework programme Horizon 2020, IMI2 will continue the collaborative spirit of IMI; 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.
IMI-1 reconnected research and healthcare agendas
Since 2008, IMI projects have been affecting research & development (R&D) productivity of pharmaceutical companies, the effective prediction of adverse drug reactions, the pooling of data for further analysis, and the joint development of key standards for drug development. IMI projects are not only scientifically interesting; they are also contributing to changing the way in which new drugs are discovered and developed.
IMI delivers tools to address bottlenecks in medicines development and reduce attrition rate. It also addresses key healthcare challenges and unmet needs in areas like antimicrobial resistance, neuro-degenerative diseases, chronic pain, complications of diabetes, or mental health. It delivers new solutions to increase safety and efficacy of medicines. IMI has already identified new treatment opportunities and developed new and more predictive tools to predict toxic effects of potential candidate medicines, as well as non-invasive methods of detecting disease progression or effects of medicines. Through proactive engagement with regulators, payers, patients, health professionals, IMI also makes sure that the new methods and standards are considered in regulatory and clinical practice, as well as in companies’ R&D processes.
From IMI-1 to IMI-2 : One step further: from invention, through innovation, to benefits for patients
The Innovative Medicines Initiative is a success story. IMI projects have already shown a positive impact on research and development. 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 reach this goal. 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, details the ‘considerable progress’ made by such innovative research initiatives since then.
IMI2 is jointly funded by EFPIA, health research industry partners and the European Commission’s innovation investment package. 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.
Goals of IMI 2
Building on successes of IMI and taking as a point of departure the WHO report on priority medicines for Europe and the world and Europe’s health priorities, IMI2 will deliver tools, methods and prevention and treatment options (directly or indirectly) that will progress the vision of personalised medicine and prevention.
Through providing the framework required to support collaboration between scientists, regulators, HTAs, patients and healthcare providers, IMI2 will ensure that research is translated into implementable solutions to current healthcare challenges. Solutions that are not purely focussed on the development of new medicines, but that provide a holistic personalised healthcare package as well as maintain people healthy and productive throughout their lifetime.
Reclassification of diseases based on their root cause and not symptoms will help addressing unmet needs even in areas where a range of options exist but patients do not respond, because their symptoms are misleading therapy choices. New biomarkers and methods to support the stratification of patients to those that are predicted to respond to new medicines, to monitor response and reliably predict the safety of new medicines, will rationalise the way clinical trials are conducted and increase the safety of new medicines. This in turn will impact medical practice with potential for more rational use of healthcare budgets and resources.
Better-suited formulations and dosages will improve patient compliance essential in acute infections or long term chronic conditions where disease control is essential for a normal and productive life.
IMI2 will make an invaluable contribution to maintaining or reinvigorating industrial research and activity in areas of high societal interest that currently suffer from disinvestment.
Finally, presence of all stakeholders in the IMI2 framework will facilitate exploitation of results in the regulatory and clinical practice and evolution of the research, development, licensing and healthcare delivery systems apace with science and opportunities it creates.
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