The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) will carry IMI torch
Today we celebrate the launch of the Innovative Health Initiative, Europe’s new partnership for health that brings together the biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, digital health and medical technology sectors, along with academic and patient communities and the European Commission to create a new, world-leading cross-sectorial partnership. Building on IMI successes and lessons learnt, this new public-private partnership aims to remove silos and combine capabilities and expertise across industries to translate health research and innovation into real benefits for patients and societies.
IHI will be the future “home” of both ongoing IMI and future IHI projects. With several fresh partnerships running until 2027, IMI journey continues to address EU policy priorities in the life sciences sector, addressing unmet medical need in key areas ranging from antimicrobial resistance and oncology to paediatrics and rare diseases.
Complementing the future IHI calls for proposals, new IMI projects will add insights and momentum to the wider European goals set out in the EU Industrial Strategy and the Pharmaceutical Strategy – notably the commitments to creating a future-proof regulatory framework and supporting a competitive life sciences sector.
For example, the PRIMAVERA project aims to predict the impact of monoclonal antibodies and vaccines on antimicrobial resistance. This acknowledges the urgency around bringing new therapeutic options to market by identifying which vaccines and monoclonal antibodies should be prioritised.
Several projects plan to ensure that Europe benefits from a modern, efficient and patient-focused regulatory system by advancing how clinical research is conducted. FACILITATE will develop ethical and transparent ways of reusing data from clinical trial participants; UNITE4TB will accelerate trials of combinations of existing and new treatments for TB (including drug-resistant TB); and SISAQOL-IMI will establish international standards on patient-reported outcomes and health-related quality of life data in cancer trials.
In line with Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan which seeks to harness technology and innovation to improve diagnosis, treatment and care, IMI is supporting multiple projects designed to boost oncology research. T2EVOLVE aims to step up the development of, and access to, cutting-edge T-cell therapies. Finding and optimising cancer therapies are also the focus of PERSIST-SEQ, PROTECT-trial and OPTIMA.
With Europe’s capacity to develop, manufacture and deploy vaccines in the spotlight throughout the pandemic, it is fitting that IMI is supporting projects such as Inno4Vac. This major partnership seeks to create an innovation ecosystem in Europe that will catalyse and simplify the development of vaccines for the befit of public health. Meanwhile, PROMISE aims to support the surveillance of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) which led to thousands of paediatric hospitalisations in Europe this winter. The project builds on the work of the IMI’s RESCEU project and will prepare the way for the introduction of RSV vaccines in the coming years.
Given that the creation of a European Health Data Space (EHDS) is among the European Commission’s current priorities, and industry’s commitment to turning real-world information into actionable data, it is encouraging to see a strong focus on this issue in several of the projects. Whether it’s genetic information (REsolution, SCREEN4CARE), digital pathology data (BIGPICTURE) or molecular information used in diagnostics, health data will be a key element of future innovation.
These projects remind us that IMI has not only contributed to today’s health partnerships, but the sustained commitment and investment it spurred for more than a decade has built the foundation of trust that will allow bold new collaborations under the Innovative Health Initiative. Taken together, the new collection of IMI and IHI projects is well placed to continue having a meaningful impact on society and on Europe’s innovation ecosystem.
EFPIA is proud to be among the five industry associations that have come together, representing pharmaceutical, biotech and medical technologies industries operating in Europe (COCIR, EFPIA, EuropaBio, MedTech Europe and Vaccines Europe).