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Europe is awesome, its carrying the torch of medical innovation. We are proud to be part of it!

If you think that Europe is far removed from your daily life and is there to just create rules about the colour and curve of bananas? BIG MISTAKE!! Europe is awesome and here is just one example… 
 
In medical research many of the “easy” problems have been solved and low hanging fruits have been harvested.  Conversely, there are new challenges emerging - because demography is changing, people live longer with multiple diseases that require new types of care. There are areas where no significant progress was made over previous decades, like toxicology or immunology - because research was fragmented with, very often, everyone going through the same trials and making the same errors.  
 
This is where Europe comes in and it is awesome: EU research framework programmes bring together international teams, joining forces, sharing knowledge, accelerating progress and avoiding repetition of trials and errors.  It is not just about a grant for a university - it is about direct impact for each and every citizen in Europe and beyond; each of these findings, whether positive or negative, will in the short or long term put new tools in the hands of Doctors to take better care of patients.  And you can see some fantastic examples examples on the Commission website
 
It is not about money - countries finance individually 90% of all research. But the remaining 10%, research monies administered by the EU is about joining forces and EFPIA is proud of being part of this endeavour.  
 
Since 2008, the Innovative Medicines Initiative has carried the torch of medical innovation in the EU. It brings together public and private research teams to combine their best brains and assets to accelerate science in the fields which are particularly challenging. About 100 projects have been initiated and help scientific and medical progress, where industry, academia, patients, health authorities work together and where the Commission paid the grants for public partners and industry pays its own cost. Just have a look.
 
The latest kid on the block - Call 14 - will lead to 4 new projects that will generate new knowledge about immune diseases (affecting 1 in 10 Europeans or more), provide artificial intelligence tools to better exploit toxicology data, and bring clinical trials closer to patients and patient reality.  What would patient get out of it? We would understand why some patients to respond to treatment and others not - we will be able to much better treat Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Asthma, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).  We will develop non-invasive methods to diagnose diseases and monitor them, more comfortable for patients and providing more insights to researchers. Computer based tools for toxicity prediction will contribute to improving safety of medicines and accelerate preclinical research. Enabling remote clinical trials should help reducing burden on patients and hospitals.
 
All information on call 14 is available here and the deadline for applications is 14 June!  Easy to remember - Call 14 and 14 June! 
 
If you do not know where to start: watch the webinars. If you miss one, they are all recorded. IMI office helps those who look for more information. 
 
Clearly there is no excuse - don’t miss the deadline and the opportunity to do something really cool that will contribute to changing people’s lives. You can be the next one to #carrythetorch. 
 
Good luck. 
 
EFPIA’s Science Policy Team  
 
PS: If you have an awesome translational research idea (from discovery to outcomes measures) that would benefit from a combination of industry and academic researchers brains, submit it here. It may become a future IMI topic.  

Magda Chlebus

Magda Chlebus, Executive Director of Science Policy & Regulatory Affairs at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical...
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