Europe promotes a public-private initiative for drug research


ABC Health



The European Commission (EC) presented this Wednesday the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI), together with the associations of the pharmaceutical industry Efpia, Vaccines Europe and EuropaBio and those of medical technology Cocir and MedTech Europe. This is a new public-private collaboration project, whose objective is to favor the creation of a research and innovation ecosystem on health in the European Union.

This initiative, according to Farmaindustria, represents a “new impetus” for cooperation between the different agents of the health system, regardless of their nature and financing, for the progress of drug R&D, especially in those areas of common interest and with unmet medical needsTherefore, a greater investment in research is necessary.

Already in February 2020, the machinery was activated to work on a collaborative project between public research centers and pharmaceutical companies to try achieve an effective treatment against Covid-19 in record time.

“Innovation that is increasingly open and international and based on public-private collaboration is an unquestionable paradigm that contributes to accelerating the development of business knowledge, improving efficiency in the search for new solutions to the problems and needs of developed societies. – maintains the director general of Farmaindustria, Humberto Arnés-. The current health crisis has made visible that public-private collaboration that already existed and that has been able to quickly find solutions to the pandemic in the form of vaccines.

“Europe is at a crucial moment for its future -adds Arnés-: it faces increasing challenges on several fronts and, at the same time, technological and scientific advances offer new opportunities to solve these challenges. Addressing today’s health challenges clearly requires a multi-sector public-private partnership.”

The new European initiative is not the first of these characteristics. For years, different collaboration experiences have been approached to promote the innovative drug development from the laboratories of public research centers to the stage where they can enter the phase of clinical trials in humans.

Specifically, the IHI project has its precedent in the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), born in 2008 and financed in equal parts by the EC and Efpia to promote research in diseases with unmet medical and social needs. The successes of IMI, the knowledge gained from 14 years of experience and the almost 200 projects launched “mean that IHI will ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of interdisciplinary, sustainable and patient-centred health research”, emphasizes the CEO of Efpia, Nathalie Moll.

This new project “will become a home for more than 100 IMI projects still in progress and will implement new initiatives, already under the umbrella of IHI, aimed at eliminating silos and combining capabilities and experience of all agents in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. », Moll continues.

The scope of IHI is broader than that of IMI, as it aims to cover the entire health care process and will include new specific objectives aligned with the latest EU health policy strategies.

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