IMI Shelter

  • by: |
  • 12/21/2007

While we dither about funding for the Reagan/Udall Center, the European Commission and the pharmaceutical industry have unveiled a €2 billion partnership to reverse the EU's declining international role in medical research. According to a report in the Financial Times, teams of commercial and not-for-profit researchers will be able to seek support for work on a range of medical projects, on condition that their findings are publicly shared in an effort to stimulate faster and safer drug development.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), jointly supported by the Commission and members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), will shortly release details of its first 18 priorities, which will be funded by €123 million in awards to be given out by the spring of 2009.

This is a chance for us to really get back on the right foot," said Arthur Higgins, president of EFPIA and head of Bayer Healthcare of Germany. It was important for patients and the wealth and prosperity of Europe. "We're sending a signal to the US, Japan, China and India that Europe is taking its bioscience sector really seriously."

The first wave of projects includes the development of measurable biomarkers in the body to gauge the side-effects of new medicines on the kidneys and liver, as well as research into the basic mechanisms of pain, severe asthma, psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

The Commission has given €1 billion in funding for the seven-year program, which will be matched by support from pharmaceutical companies through loans of staff, laboratory equipment and libraries of compounds.

It’s time that we take the issue of 21st century medicine just as seriously.

Funding for Reagan/Udall now!


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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