Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2008 - (Page 8)

8 News & Analysis April 2008 Pharmaceutical Executive Europe BRUSSELS REPORT IMI Has Lift-Off Reflector welcomes the upcoming launch of the EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative. A t last, the naked concept of Europe’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) looks as if it is going to get decently clothed. The project has been flagged up for years as a breakthrough solution to Europe’s drug development bottlenecks — but until now it has been all rhetoric and no reality. On 30 April the initiative will get a fullscale launch at a grandiosely-titled conference in Brussels with European research commissioner Janez Potocnik and Bayer healthcare boss Arthur Higgins. The European Union announcement promises — under the alluring heading of “improving European biopharmaceutical research” — that “key players will present the scientific priorities for biopharmaceutical research in 2008.” The initiative, a new kind of publicprivate partnership between the European Union and the pharmaceutical industry, is slated to spend €2 billion. “Journalists are invited to discover and discuss the future of European biopharmaceutical research and find out in detail how this innovative joint undertaking will distribute its funds,” says the press announcement. But it may not be necessary to wait that long. Reflector has been able to establish that among the 2008 priorities are the kick-off of five-year programmes: ● to improve the predictivity of immunogenicity and non-genotoxic carcinogenesis (with pharmaceutical industry backing for each programme of up to €13 million in personnel, equipment and supplies) ● in expert systems for in silico toxicity prediction (with industry support worth €5 million) ● in qualification of translational safety biomarkers (€21 million) ● in strengthening the monitoring of the benefit/risk of medicines (€15 million). In addition, there will be a three-year programme in improved predictivity of non clinical safety evaluation (€10 million). Programmes on islet cell research, surrogate markers for vascular endpoints, pain research, neurodegenerative disorders, severe asthma, and new tools for the development of novel therapies in psychiatric disorders also get a look-in on the 2008 priorities, along with a series of education and training programmes. Work on cancer is not foreseen this year, but may be included in 2009. A first call for proposals for EU funding of €122.7 million will be opened before this summer. By next month, the backers of the initiative should therefore no longer be irritated by sceptics pointing out the lack of substance. And if they don’t start delivering, they will doubtless continue to be assailed for pompous pretence. And they will have no-one to blame but themselves.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2008

Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2008
From the Editor
News and Analysis
Brussels Report
Designing Tomorrow's Supply Chain
Look After Your eHealth
Why CIOs Need the X Factor
Doing It Right
Online and On-Message
Reward: Better Business
The Only True Advertising 'Reward'

Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2008