EFPIA has announced the launch of IMI2, the continuation of the successful partnership of industry and public bodies to tackle health needs. IMI is a public-private partnership (PPP) between the European Commission and EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. The first phase of IMI (2008 to 2013) was established with a budget of $2.7 billion. IMI2 has been established under the E.U. framework program Horizon 2020 with an even bigger budget of $4.5 billion—bringing together the public and private sectors in the largest healthcare PPP in Europe.
Roch Doliveux, chair of the IMI Board and CEO UCB, said, “Health will be a major economic challenge for Europe in the coming decades, and smart investment in healthcare is essential, for the benefit of both E.U. citizens and E.U. economies. IMI is a smart investment. Not only does IMI support a thriving life sciences sector—a key driver of future prosperity for the E.U.—it also gives us the collaborative platform we need to harness the potential power of new science in medicines research. By bringing together industry and academia, IMI can help us tackle existing healthcare challenges and improve lives for the patients that we are all striving to help.”
Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, director, Health, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission, said, “IMI2 will carry on the collaborative spirit of IMI by bringing together the pharmaceutical industry, academic health research partners, small and medium enterprises, patients and regulators to advance scientific research and development for a healthy European society. This is imperative not only for the health of E.U. citizens, but also E.U. economies—a healthy society supports stability and growth, which is what Europe needs now.”
Paul-Peter Tak, chair of EFPIA’s Research Directors Group, and senior vice president and head of the ImmunoInflammation Therapy Area Unit at GlaxoSmithKline, said, “We expect the outputs of IMI2 to deliver real results for patients. Specifically, IMI2 projects will seek to advance trends in personalized 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 and making new medicines available to patients.”
IMI projects already have shown a positive impact on R&D. By pooling resources, the NEWMEDS project has created the largest known database of studies on schizophrenia. The New Drugs for Bad Bugs Program has launched a project to tackle the growing threat of anti-microbial resistance—a growing public health threat. Additionally, the eTox project is developing a drug safety database based on both industry and public toxicology data, in a step toward greater safety for patients.
The IMI2 Strategic Research Agenda was developed to address areas of unmet medical need, finding inspiration in the World Health Organization’s Priority Medicines Report. Projects aim to advance trends in personalized 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.