European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), a representative of the pharmaceutical industry operating in Europe, its specialized group Vaccines Europe and the Innovative Medicines Initiative have launched a $348.2 million call for proposals for an Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) program aimed to address the current Ebola crisis. The Ebola+ program will bring together the pharma industry and researchers in a collaborative program aimed to cover the current outbreak, as well as future needs in the space of hemorrhagic fevers.
The first call for proposals has a global budget of about $348.2 million and will result in projects aimed to address the development, manufacture, transport and storage of vaccines; ensuring compliance with vaccine regimens; and the development of rapid diagnostic tests. Further calls for proposals will be launched in the coming months. The first projects are expected to begin in early 2015.
Richard Bergstrom, director general EFPIA, said, “Stopping the spread of Ebola, now and for future generations, is a key priority for the pharmaceutical industry, which has a long history in fighting pervasive infectious disease. The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa brings with it unprecedented challenges for patients and the healthcare system. This complex fight requires close collaboration and engagement from multiple stakeholders. The pharmaceutical industry, represented by EFPIA, recognizes its responsibility and value and is ready to play a vital role.”
Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said, "The E.U. is determined to help find a solution to Ebola. We are putting our money where our mouth is and boosting E.U. research on Ebola with an additional $348.2 million. With this funding from Horizon 2020 and our industry partners, we are stepping up the development of new vaccines and medications to help save lives around the world."