The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has today reported that its first 15 research projects that are "up and running". The first-call projects are exploring new approaches to initiate faster access to better medicines across illnesses, including Alzheimer's disease, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, using a novel, public-private funding scheme in which EFPIA member companies match the funding of the European Union by mainly in kind contributions.
Michel Goldman, Executive Director of IMI, said: "The disease areas in the IMI projects have been chosen because they are important areas of unmet medical need in Europe. The ongoing and future projects will address the main causes of delay in the R&D processes and will help bring safer and more effective medicines more quickly to the patients."
Biomarker research features prominently in the projects, and includes the MARCAR project to search and test biomarkers for the early detection of drug-induced tumours, SAFE-T (Safer and Faster Evidence-based Translation), which aims to use markers to develop improved tools for prediction, detection, and monitoring of drug-induced injuries to the kidney, the liver, and the vascular system, and IMDIA — which is looking to improve beta-cell function and identification of diagnostic biomarkers for treatment monitoring in diabetes.
The 3rd Call for IMI proposals, to be launched later this year, is said to include research topics in the area of autism, diabetes, tuberculosis and drug and vaccine safety.
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