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IMI launches Call for proposals with focus on flu vaccines


For immediate release

  • Call focuses on tests used to measure levels of protection offered by flu vaccines


BRUSSELS, 29 October 2013 – As the flu vaccination season gets underway, IMI is launching a new Call for proposals for a project that will develop tools to aid the development of new, more effective flu vaccines. The 5-year project will have a budget of €12.2 million, half of which will come from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), and half of which will come from in kind contributions by the large pharmaceutical companies taking part in the project.

Every year, pharmaceutical companies develop vaccines designed specifically to combat the strains of flu that are most likely to be circulating in the population the following winter. Vaccines are also developed in response to emerging pandemics. A challenge in flu vaccine development is assessing the level of protection offered by a new vaccine. Currently, researchers measure things like the levels of certain antibodies in the blood. However, these tests are not standardised and there are questions as to how well these tests actually reflect the extent to which a vaccine offers a protection against infection, and there are ongoing discussions as to which test most suitable for different situations.

The long-term goal of the topic is to improve and standardise the existing immunological tests and develop new ones to improve the evaluation of flu vaccines.

Michel Goldman, IMI Executive Director commented: ‘Vaccine development and evaluation involves diverse stakeholders, including vaccine manufacturers, academic laboratories, and public health authorities. By bringing these groups together, the project will be well placed to improve further the development of flu vaccines, which are a key tool for public health and protect millions of vulnerable people from the misery of flu and its complications every year.’



Press contact:

Catherine Brett – Communication and Events Manager
Tel: +32 2 541 8214  -  Mobile: +32 484 896227  -  E-mail:


Notes for Editors

Deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest in response to this Call: 28 January 2014
For more information on the 10th Call for proposals, including details of how to apply, visit the 10th Call - Stage 1 web page

About IMI

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is the world’s largest public-private partnership in health. IMI is improving the environment for pharmaceutical innovation in Europe by engaging and supporting networks of industrial and academic experts in collaborative research projects. The European Union contributes €1 billion to the IMI research programme, and this is matched by in kind contributions worth at least another €1 billion from the member companies of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

The Innovative Medicines Initiative currently supports 40 projects, many of which are already producing impressive results. The projects are all working to address the biggest challenges in drug development, with the goal of accelerating the development of safer and more effective treatments for patients.

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