Thumbs-up for IMI2
17.04.2014 - The European Parliament has given green light to the second Innovative Medicines Initiative with the aim to advance pharmacological research and development, particularly in areas of unmet medical need.
The public-private research programme Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI2) is jointly run by the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and aims to improve the process of developing new drugs and treatments by supporting cooeration in reaserch and development. The European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) committee voted in favour of the second initiative which will run from 2014 for ten years and will have a budget of approximately €3bn.
The Parliament was consulted for advice only: It does not have co-decision rights on this subject, which is left to the European Commission and the Council, who represent the 28 EU member states. However, the Green group voted against the initiative, citing the overwhelming influence of large companies, who are gaining an advantage by setting their own research objectives, leaving SMEs behind. EFPIA, on the other hand, welcomed the decision and commented: “IMI2 will take the collaborative vision of IMI even further in its service to patients and the public health agenda. The first five big questions to be addressed by IMI2 include neuro-degeneration, metabolic disorders, immune-mediated diseases, infections and translational safety.” The launch of IMI2 and first calls for proposals are planned for July.
The first initiative ran out in 2013 after running for six years. The partnership had access to a budget of €2bn, with half of the funding coming from the Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme, and the other half from EFPIA. It funded projects in areas such as antibiotics, data integration and drug screening.