News Alert

News Alert

IMI announces a new total of 23 unique projects to boost drug innovation

Brussels, 8 March 2011

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), currently the largest public-private partnership in the biopharmaceutical sector, launches its second wave of research projects which address key areas including cancer, immune-mediated diseases, infectious disorders and electronic health.  With 23 projects now up and running, over €450 million is now committed by the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) on a uniquely large scale. IMI is shaping the current and future research and development of innovative drugs in Europe. 

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science said: "By speeding up drug development across Europe, the investments made by the IMI will ultimately save and improve lives, as well as making a major contribution to the Innovation Union and to growth and jobs."

With a budget of €172 million, 8 new IMI projects are being launched over the coming weeks.  The project consortia include 21 EFPIA members represented by 65 EFPIA teams who are working together with partners from 103 academic teams, 23 SMEs and 2 patient organisations.

Roch Doliveux, CEO of UCB and member of the Board of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Association (EFPIA) says, The industry has reached an inflection point where public private partnerships, based on open innovation networks, will improve the efficiency of the pharmaceutical companies in bringing safe, efficacious, cost-effective treatments to patients. EFPIA considers IMI as a key instrument to implement the new business models which will ensure the sustainability of pharmaceutical industries across Europe.’’

The 8 new projects deal with health concerns, identified by scientific priority and industry needs, will develop new patient treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and infectious diseases. 

PREDECT, ONCOTRACK, QUIC-CONCEPT all focus on developing better tools for diagnosing and treating lung, prostate, ovarian, breast and colon cancers and are covered by IMI's 'efficacy' pillar along with RAPP-ID and BTCure which aim to facilitate the development of novel diagnostic tools related to infectious diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.  DDMoRe, OPEN-PHACTS and EHR4CR fall under IMI's 'Knowledge Management' pillar in developing new methods dedicated to common standards and sharing data on common platforms for more efficient drug-development and patient treatments for the future. The projects will run for between 36 – 60 months.  Detailed factsheets are available in the Press Pack and on the IMI website

Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, Director Health in the Research & Innovation DG of the European Commission says, 'It is encouraging that IMI is launching 8 new innovative projects in areas as different as cancer or diagnostic tools for infectious diseases. Results from IMI projects that have been selected from the first call already demonstrate how this novel public-private collaboration is delivering results that can make a difference in how drugs are developed, for the benefit of patients in Europe and worldwide.'

The first-wave IMI projects, now up and running for around one year, are already providing tangible benefits, delivered through the constructive engagement of industry competitors, academia, patient groups and SMEs. These first contributions are made possible by the collaborative spirit of scientists from industry and academia along with SMEs, patient organisations and regulatory agencies who form the IMI project consortia.

Michel Goldman, Executive Director of IMI says, 'The uniqueness of what IMI is doing to facilitate innovation in the biopharmaceutical sector is the scale of the collaborative research now being undertaken and it’s changing how drug development happens.  It is clear that IMI is performing a vital role in working towards finding better solutions for patients across Europe.' 

IMI is fostering a new environment of collaboration and innovation to shape the future of the biopharmaceutical sector in Europe.

Notes to Editors

Fact sheets are available for all 23 projects in the Press Pack and on the IMI website at

The 8 new projects are:


Development of future curative treatments for early intervention against rheumatoid arthritis


Establishment of standards for common tools to enhance modeling and simulation technologies


Identification of new models to predict the response of patients to cancer treatments.


Development of new models for novel treatments of breast, prostate and lung cancer


Identification of specific imaging biomarkers to improve cancer drug development


Development of a point-of-care test for rapid detection of microbes


Development of an open access innovation platform dedicated to drug discovery using a semantic web approach


Development of a electronic health records platform to support R&D projects on innovative medicines

IMI runs a €2 billion research programme aiming to speed up the discovery and development of safer and more effective drugs for patients and to reinvigorate the biopharmaceutical sector in Europe. The main goal of this innovative funding scheme is to focus on collaborative research efforts which will produce new solutions to some of the most relevant health issues facing Europe today.

In these 23 IMI projects 225 different research groups from 23 major pharmaceutical companies affiliated to EFPIA are collaborating with 298 academic teams drawn from across Europe.  The partnerships include 47 SMEs and 11 patient organisations and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). 

The partners within the project consortia cross traditional industry and geographical boundaries, co-operating to deliver real results through 'working smarter ' to offer concrete solutions to solving health problems across a range of diseases and disorders.  The diversity of European expertise is evident across the 23 projects - most European member states are represented, demonstrating Europe's ability to act together to move towards a future of innovation excellence.

The first wave of 15 projects have already produced some concrete output.  The IMI NEWMEDS project include the biggest database ever compiled on schizophrenia - with more than 10,000 patients included - and pioneer mechanistic studies combining genetic and imaging approaches through the participation of 9 pharmaceutical companies, 7 academic teams and SMEs.

The IMI U-BIOPRED project, which has 35 participants drawn from across 13 European member states, has developed an international consensus statement on the classification of patients with severe asthma and produced a new algorithm for use in clinical research.

IMI Education and Training Programmes, PharmaTrain, EMTRAIN, Eu2P and SafeSciMET have now successfully launched new European standards for graduate and post-graduate courses in medicines research through the extensive collaboration of 85 public and private partners, including 4 regulatory authorities.

IMI also provides a new forum for a balanced dialog with the regulatory agencies and patients' organizations, seen in practice in the IMI PROTECT project where the EMA coordinates efforts to develop innovative pharmacovigilance tools based on patient-reported outcomes.  The IMI SAFE-T project has already initiated a dialog with the Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) and the EMA about the strategy to be followed to qualify biomarkers for drug safety in clinical trials.

IMI's third wave of projects which are under construction will cover key areas for the development of innovative medicines including autism, tuberculosis, diabetes and safety of drugs and vaccines.  More information on the Call 3 topics is available on the IMI website.

For further information please contact:

IMI Information Helpdesk
Tel : +32 (0)2 221.81.84