The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has successfully launched its third wave of projects. The 7 new projects, which have a combined total cost of €215 million and will run for 5 years, are taking on some of the biggest challenges in healthcare research. Some of the new projects aim to speed up the search for more effective treatments for certain diseases and conditions that are currently difficult to manage.
For example, PreDiCT-TB is investigating ways of designing new combinations of drugs to make tuberculosis treatments more patient-friendly, while DIRECT aims to pave the way for type 2 diabetes patients to benefit from personalised medicines.
Meanwhile EU-AIMS is working towards the development of new treatments designed specifically to treat autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Other projects are focused more on safety issues. MIP-DILI aims to make it easier for researchers to identify potential drugs that are likely to cause liver damage - an important issue when one considers that drug-induced liver injury is a leading cause of liver failure.
ABIRISK is working in the emerging area of biopharmaceuticals - novel drugs which are based on biological molecules such as proteins and can occasionally trigger an immune response. ABIRISK's goal is to study the underlying causes of the immune response with a view to improving the safety of biopharmaceuticals.
Elsewhere, BIOVACSAFE is working to develop tools to accelerate procedures to test and monitor vaccine safety.
Finally, IMI is pleased to announce the launch of another Education & Training project; EUPATI will create a European Patients' Academy on Therapeutic Innovation, which will educate patients and the public about medicines development and empower patients to engage more effectively in the drug development process.
IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman said: "These projects are all taking on research challenges that would be too big for one company or academic team to tackle on its own. They therefore demonstrate IMI's value in creating pan-European teams of experts that are in a position to make major advances in these critical areas."
The new projects mean that IMI is now supporting a total of 30 projects with a combined total cost of over €650 million. All IMI projects are jointly supported by the EU (in cash) and the member companies of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) (in-kind contributions).
Looking to the future, IMI expects to kick-off a fourth round of projects by the end of the year in areas related to obesity, Alzheimer's Disease, drug delivery by nano-carriers, sustainable chemical drug production, the behavior of drugs in the human body, knowledge management and stem cells for drug discovery, as well as a fifth wave of projects building a Joint European Compound Collection and a European Screening Centre.
In addition, IMI has recently launched a major programme for combatting antibiotic resistance. More Calls for proposals are in the pipeline, including a Call on the assessment of vaccination impact and on effectiveness research.
About the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)
IMI is the world's largest public-private partnership in health research and development. Through the 7th Framework Programme for Research, the European Union contributes €1 billion to the IMI research programme, which is matched by in kind contributions worth at least another €1 billion from the member companies of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). IMI is improving the environment for pharmaceutical innovation in Europe, by engaging and supporting networks of industrial and academic experts in collaborative research projects. The Innovative Medicines Initiative currently funds 30 projects, many of which are already producing impressive results.