Language Selector Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)

Nikola Benin

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Introducing IMI

IMI’s goals

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is working to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organisations, and medicines regulators. IMI is a partnership between the European Union (represented by the European Commission) and the European pharmaceutical industry (represented by EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations).

The budget

IMI is the world’s biggest public-private partnership (PPP) in the life sciences. Through the IMI 2 programme, it has a €3.3 billion budget for the period 2014-2024. Of this:

  • €1.638 billion (half the budget) comes from Horizon 2020, the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation;
  • €1.425 billion is committed to the programme by EFPIA companies;
  • up to €213 million can be committed by other life science industries or organisations that decide to contribute to IMI 2 as members or Associated Partners in individual projects.

EFPIA companies and Associated Partners do not receive any EU funding, but contribute to the projects ‘in kind’, for example by contributing their researchers’ time or providing access to research facilities or resources.

A look back on IMI’s first phase

IMI was launched in 2008 and currently has over 50 projects, with more in the pipeline. Some focus on specific health issues such as neurological conditions (Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, chronic pain, and autism), diabetes, lung disease, oncology, inflammation & infection, tuberculosis, and obesity. Others focus on broader challenges in drug development like drug and vaccine safety, knowledge management, the sustainability of chemical drug production, the use of stem cells for drug discovery, drug behaviour in the body, the creation of a European platform to discover novel medicines, and antimicrobial resistance. In addition to research projects, IMI supports education and training projects.

During its first phase (2008-2013), IMI had a budget of €2 billion, half of which came from the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for research (FP7), and half of which came from in kind contributions by EFPIA companies.

IMI published topics that are under consideration for inclusion in future IMI Calls for proposals.

Following IMI call topics are planned for the next IMI call:

  • Development and validation of technology enabled, quantitative and sensitive measures of functional decline in people with early stage Alzheimer’s disease (RADAR-AD)
  • Fairification of IMI and EFPIA data
  • Development of sensitive and validated clinical endpoints in primary Sjögren’s syndrome (PSS)
  • European screening centre: unique library for attractive biology
  • Exploitation of IMI project results

The indicative topic texts are online on the Future Topics page of the IMI website. All information regarding future IMI Call topics is indicative and subject to change. Final information about future IMI Calls will be communicated after approval by the IMI Governing Board.

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