Innovative Health Initiative website goes live

The website of the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) is live at Bookmark it and visit it regularly for updates on IHI's activities, including calls for proposals, as well as news on IMI's projects.
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IHI welcomes the entry into force of the legislation creating the Innovative Health Initiative

We welcome entry into force of the legislation creating the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI), a new European partnership for health under Horizon Europe. This is an exciting time to be working in medical innovation. Science is driving new avenues of research and development often spanning different sectors within the life science community, and it is clear that future breakthroughs in medical science will involve cross-sectoral discoveries. With the pharmaceutical, medical...
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IMI impact on paediatric medicine

Medical innovation has often been slow to trickle down to children and adolescents, and IMI's paediatric research portfolio is changing that.

IMI impact on patient involvement

What's the problem? link text For many years, patient involvement in research was restricted to participating in clinical studies and trials as research subjects. Today, it is widely recognised that patients can and should be much more involved in all aspects of research, including agenda setting, study design, communication, and ethics. At the same time, many researchers are now well aware that patients bring unique knowledge and skills to projects...

New ways of working - data impact event report

This report is a summary of an IMI-hosted event called IMI Impact on data, part of a series of events intended to showcase the successes of projects launched since the programme’s inception in 2008.
Image by Shine Nucha via Shutterstock

Focus on: infrastructure

Focus on the IMI projects that have left behind lasting research infrastructure for the scientific community.
Image by Sahacha Nilkumhang via Shutterstock

“The IMI model aligns with our way of working”

TB Alliance is one of IMI's Associated Partners. Ana Maria Harkins, its Director of External Affairs, says that the partnership with IMI allows them to expand funding beyond a small and mostly static group of donors
Image by Mary Long via Shutterstock

“The scale of the funding enables real impact”

The Children's Tumor Foundation is one of IMI's Associated Partners. Annette Bakker, the Foundation's president, says that the unique IMI model ensures alignment between industry and public partners.
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IMI impact event series – registration open!

Today, IMI is globally recognised as a pioneer of open innovation and an attractive model for successful PPPs in research. A true partnering machine, we forge collaborations that bring together stakeholders including universities, large pharmaceutical companies, SMEs, patient groups, and medicine regulators, as well as companies in other health-related sectors, such as diagnostics, imaging, and IT. In this context we have decided to showcase IMI’s impact in specific areas, starting...
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Focus on: pain

In April, we focussed on IMI projects in the field of pain research.
Image by AePatt Journey via Shutterstock

IMI impact on diabetes

IMI has a strong diabetes project portfolio, with several projects addressing different aspects of the disease. Some are studying the underlying causes of the disease and the internal processes that lead to the destruction of the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Others aim to detect clues as to how the disease will progress in different patients. Finally, many projects focus on detecting, preventing and treating the complications associated with diabetes.
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IMI impact on data

IMI has had ‘big data’ projects since its creation. Projects are putting ‘big data’ principles into practice to advance research in the fields of cardiovascular disease, haematological malignancies (blood cancers), Alzheimer’s disease, and prostate cancer. IMI also boasts a number of projects working on health-related mobile and digital technologies.
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IMI impact on dementia

IMI has over 20 projects in this area accounting for around 10 % of IMI’s budget. Most focus on Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, but we also have projects on Parkinson’s disease, pain, and multiple sclerosis, for example. The projects cover the whole spectrum of medical research and drug development, and patients play an active role in many projects, bringing their knowledge and experience of their disease to the table.
Alzheimer_red string_shutterstock by By LightField Studios

Focus on: rare diseases

Science has tended to neglect diseases that affect small numbers of people, but that is changing.
Image by Serhii Hrebeniuk via Shutterstock

Focus on: coronavirus

In March 2020, IMI responded rapidly to the emerging global COVID-19 pandemic. 144 applications led to 8 projects, and the funding pot was increased from €45 million to €72 million. Read about the projects and communications activities surrounding the Call.
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Season's greetings

We wish all of our stakeholders a relaxing, peaceful holiday season and a happy, healthy new year. The IMI Programme Office is closed from 24 December to 3 January inclusive.
IMI greetings card 2020 with the text 'Happy New Year'

Focus on: technology convergence

IMI can provide a transparent, neutral and, importantly, pre-competitive setting that can provide regulators with solid evidence that new technologies are reliable. The technology will move very quickly, so we should, too.
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Quality and quantity – IMI projects’ scientific publications

IMI’s projects are prolific in their production of scientific papers, and what’s more, they’re delivering quality and quantity. Much scientific knowledge is shared via scientific papers that are reviewed by other scientists and published in journals. Every year, IMI analyses the publications produced by IMI projects. The latest report, prepared by Clarivate, studies IMI project publications up until the end of 2019. It shows that IMI projects continue to deliver...

Focus on: SMEs

In October we focussed on the ways IMI boosts the competitiveness of SMEs.

Major IMI patient education project embarks on new chapter

IMI patient education project EUPATI has set up an independent, non-profit foundation to build on the project’s work. The creation of the EUPATI Foundation secures the project’s legacy and paves the way for the further development of patient education resources in Europe and beyond.
EUPATI has developed educational materials. Image credit Pixabay / StartupStockPhotos

UPDATED: Meet the IMI projects already helping to fight COVID-19

A number of IMI’s projects are making valuable contributions to the global effort to tackle COVID-19. The contributions include knowledge, tools and expertise, and while some come from projects in the infectious disease field, projects working in other areas, such as data management and Alzheimer’s disease, are also stepping up to the plate.
Particles of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

Focus on: FAIRified data

When it comes to big data, no other industry has as much at stake as the biopharmaceutical sector. Data from sources like health records, imaging, genome sequencing and wearables are potentially very valuable, and could drive massive improvements in European health systems. Making this data FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) is a simple message with wide appeal to researchers who spend an inordinate amount of time finding, processing, organising...

SARS… or something else?

RAPID-COVID’s platform can detect up to 30 different infections in one test. This will help stem the spread of COVID-19 by getting the diagnosis right - especially important in flu season

Two IMI projects to work with EMA on COVID-19

The EHDEN and ConcePTION projects plus the ADVANCE/VAC4EU will help the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gather real world data on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments once they are approved and being used in day-to-day clinical practice.
The SARS-C0V-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Image: NIAID

ECSEL JU launches Call for proposals on decentralised clinical trials

ECSEL JU, the joint undertaking for electronic components and systems, has launched a Call for proposals on decentralised clinical trials that would complement the work of IMI’s Trials@Home project. IMI and ECSEL JU have been sharing information on their projects, and exploring ways to deepen their collaboration, for a number of years. Now, that collaboration is set to deepen with the launch of an ECSEL JU Call for proposals that...
Mobile devices. Image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay

IMI2 – Calls 22 and 23: updated topics available and webinar registration open

Tackling cancer through artificial intelligence, antimicrobial resistance, neurodegenerative diseases, rare disease diagnosis, clinical trial data, and patient adherence are the topics proposed for IMI’s next Calls for proposals. IMI has published updated versions of the draft texts of the topics that are slated for inclusion in IMI’s next Calls for proposals, IMI2 – Calls 22 and 23, which are scheduled for launch on 23 June 2020. In addition, registration is...

The story so FAIR

Making data FAIR could supercharge medicine development. FAIRplus is putting the principles into practice.

8 new COVID-19 projects announced

The Innovative Medicines Initiative has provisionally selected 8 projects for funding from its fast-track Call for proposals on coronavirus diagnostics and treatments. In addition, it has boosted the IMI funding pot from EUR 45 million to EUR 72 million. On top of this, EFPIA companies, IMI Associated Partners and other organisations will contribute over EUR 45 million to the projects.

When data is FAIR, citizens ultimately reap the benefit

Generated at ever-increasing speed and potentially extremely valuable, big data could drive massive improvements in European health systems, but only if we can agree on a set of rules for the use, reuse and management.

Socio-economic legacy: EHR4CR's data reuse revolution

Electronic health record (EHR) systems are widely used in Europe and worldwide. These rich data sources can be used to address bottle necks in clinical trial design and, crucially, patient recruitment. However the lack of interoperability between EHR systems has traditionally limited the ability to efficiently combine the data across large populations for research analysis.
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Addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on IMI Calls and projects

At the IMI Programme Office, we are very conscious of the fact that the COVID-19 outbreak poses significant challenges for IMI projects and applicants alike. Here we summarise the steps taken at IMI to mitigate the situation, and provide links to resources that may be helpful. Information for applicants We have extended the following Call deadlines: IMI2 – Call 18 (stage 2): deadline extended to 2 April 2020 IMI2 –...

Draft future Call topics published online

Tackling cancer through artificial intelligence, antimicrobial resistance, neurodegenerative diseases, rare disease diagnosis, clinical trial data, and patient adherence are the topics proposed for IMI’s next Calls for proposals.
Close up of a hand holding a tiny lightbulb. Credit: Shutterstock

New tools and trials combat the resurgence of whooping cough

EU-funded researchers hope a greater understanding of interactions between pertussis bacteria and the immune system, together with a toolkit for testing new vaccines, will help prevent whooping cough disease and deaths in babies worldwide.
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COVID-19 is a sign of the times

Repurposing existing drugs could get us out of the current predicament but it’s clear we need to prepare for more pandemics
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The secret life of tumours

In recent funding calls, IMI has turned its attention to emerging cancer therapies, seeking better understanding of things like the effect of tumour microenvironment on immunotherapy success
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CANCER-ID hunts for cancer clues in blood samples

Today, many cancer patients have to undergo biopsy surgery to provide doctors with the cell samples they need to diagnose the disease and monitor how well a treatment is working. IMI’s CANCER-ID project has paved the way for the use of ‘liquid biopsies’ drawn from a blood sample.
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IMI planning EUR 45 million Call for proposals on COVID-19

The fast-track, single stage Call will cover therapeutics and diagnostics to tackle the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. IMI plans to launch a Call for proposals on COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that was first reported in China in December 2019 and has since infected over 71 000 people and killed 1 700. The Call, which will be launched in early March, focuses on the development of: therapeutics to address the...

Focus on: patient involvement

Patients and drug developers look at an illness from entirely different perspectives. Closing this perspective gap is one of the unmet social needs that drove the creation of IMI. Though the industry agreed for a long time that patient engagement was welcome and necessary, nobody really knew how to go about it. There was one concern that worried them in particular: will people with no training in medicine R&D be...


PET scans that show brain changes caused by Alzheimer’s give doctors confidence in diagnosis

Being able to visualise the pathology linked to the disease is a big benefit for diagnosis and patient management. Researchers from an IMI project that set out to get definitive data on the role of amyloid PET scans in Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis are hearing from physicians that being able to visualise the underlying pathology linked to the disease is a big benefit for diagnosis and patient management. The ability to...

Sign up for the IMI2 – Call 20 webinars

IMI2 – Call 20 will be launched in January 2020 and features topics on cancer, tuberculosis, psoriasis, drugs based on proteins, and vaccines. Registration is now open for the IMI2 - Call 20 webinars, which will be held from 22 to 31 January 2020 inclusive. Registration is free but obligatory via the webinar page. There are webinars on all Call topics as well as IMI's rules and procedures and opportunities...

Focus on: Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer’s is a scientific failure. It's an area of research suited to a public private partnership because it offers companies a chance to pool the lessons they've learned, mistakes they've made, and data they've compiled from years of unsuccessful attempts to develop treatments. The Alzheimer's research we fund is looking at the underlying biology rather than going after late-stage cures. We know now that there has been too much focus...

Why it’s so hard to make new antibiotics

There’s no lack of chemicals that can kill bacteria. One of the main reasons there have been so few new antibiotics developed in recent decades – apart from a poor return on investment – is that researchers have run out of ideas on how to outwit the protective mechanisms of Gram-negative bacteria.

For small companies, IMI projects can help tap into new markets

CEO of TRISTAN project partner tells IMI about the opportunities that can open up as a result of getting involved in an IMI project. Karin von Wachenfeldt, Ph. D. is the CEO of Truly Labs, a Swedish SME that carries out preclinical research. Tell us about your company: Truly Labs is a small preclinical CRO (contract research organisation) that provides lab services for drug development. We are based in Lund...

Focus: Antimicrobial resistance 

Antimicrobial resistance is becoming one of the defining problems of our time. As bacteria become resistant to the drugs that are supposed to kill them, scientists, policy makers and the pharma industry are looking at different ways to fix the problem before it’s too late. IMI has invested heavily in AMR research. To date, we have invested almost €800 million on 14 projects. In November, we will be taking a...

New IMI project puts immune cells in the spotlight

EUR 27 million Immune-Image project will advance the use of imaging technologies to track immune cells. Immunotherapies, which harness the immune system to fight disease, are revolutionising the treatment of many cancers and inflammatory diseases. However, while these innovative treatments prove life-saving for some patients, others do not respond to immunotherapies at all, and others experience serious side effects. The 5-year Immune-Image project, which started recently, aims to pioneer the...

Trial of second Ebola vaccine to start in Democratic Republic of the Congo

The trial of the two-dose Ebola vaccine regimen aims to help tackle the current outbreak and strengthen future Ebola epidemic preparedness. An international consortium will soon start a large-scale clinical trial of an Ebola vaccine regimen in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is currently experiencing the second worst Ebola epidemic in history. IMI has contributed significantly to the development of the two-dose vaccine regimen, which is manufactured by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Meet IMI at BIO-Europe 2019

In two weeks’ time, IMI will be in Hamburg for BIO-Europe 2019, which runs from 11 to 13 November. A highlight for IMI will be a session on the morning of 12 November on EU support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Among the speakers is IMI’s Magali Poinot, who will explain the benefits for SMEs of participating in IMI projects and show how SMEs can get involved in IMI...

Spotlight on early-career investigators: an interview with Benjamin Falcon

Benjamin Falcon is a scientist in the IMPRiND project, which is investigating the role of misfolded proteins in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Dr Benjamin Falcon is a postdoctoral scientist at the UK Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, working to untangle the mysteries of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. He completed his PhD with Professor Michel Goedert and has developed an impressive track record of findings that progress...

Good data on medication safety for new and expectant mothers is overdue

A survey intends to get a clear picture of women’s experiences of medicating while pregnant or breast-feeding Video: Caroline Swain was five weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her health providers didn't initially know what treatments she could take. © The Pregnancy and Medicines Initiative The problem Evidence suggests that up to 95% of the five million women who get pregnant in the EU every year will...

Find out about IMI’s future funding opportunities

Cancer, tuberculosis, and psoriasis are among the topics that could be part of our next Call for proposals, IMI2 – Call 20. Also slated for inclusion in the Call are topics on drugs based on proteins, and vaccines.

How do you prepare for a pandemic?

IMI Director Pierre Meulien talks about IMI's reaction to the biggest Ebola outbreak in history and how the world is better prepared for future major epidemics.

Focus on: Ebola

During the month of October we will be taking a look at some of the results of our Ebola-related research projects.