Europe is pumping an extra €156.3 million into accelerating the discovery and development of novel drugs as part of a new wave of public-private investment in innovative medicines.
The funding is the second tranche made available as part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a joint venture between the European Commission and members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. The IMI agreed a package of €246 million for new medicines earlier this year (EURACTIV 19/05/09).
EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Poto?nik said the initiative will improve Europe’s attractiveness for pharmaceutical R&D and to ensure that results from fundamental research can be rapidly translated into new innovative treatments.
There have been ongoing concerns that biomedical research is facing a bottleneck due to fragmented infrastructure (EURACTIV 19/06/09) and complaints from academics that research had become prohibitively expensive since the EU’s Clinical Trials Directive was introduced (EURACTIV 25/08/09).
As part of an effort to inject momentum into reforming Europe’s research infrasctructure, the IMI has appointed Michel Goldman, professor of immunology at the faculty of medicine of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium, as its executive director. He takes up his post on Wednesday (16 September).
The second call for proposals, which will be launched at the end of next month, focuses on nine topics including new tools for improving drug efficacy, improved diagnostics to facilitate clinical trials, and electronic health records.