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IMI and World Anti-Doping Agency to collaborate



  • Newly-signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between IMI & World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) formalises collaboration
  • IMI and WADA to share knowledge and collaborate on areas of common interest
  • Potential areas for collaboration include ageing, frailty, lung function, blood supply, and the remote assessment of drug use.

Brussels, Belgium, 14 April 2015 – Today, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are pleased to announce the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will allow them to share information and work together on areas of common interest.

Both organisations have a strong scientific and medical focus and there is considerable overlap in their areas of work. Tests developed through IMI to analyse the effect of medicines in patients could in turn be useful for WADA in its efforts to identify athletes who have abused substances in an attempt to enhance their performance. Similarly, WADA’s work on counterfeit drugs could also be of relevance to IMI.

Under the agreement, IMI and WADA will work to identify knowledge gaps affecting both parties and establish informal and formal collaborations to address these areas. They will also share knowledge and data in areas of mutual interest.

IMI and WADA have already identified a number of areas of interest for future collaborations. These include ageing, frailty, lung function, blood supply, cognition, the long-term effects of medicines, biological signatures of drug use, among others.

Irene Norstedt, IMI Acting Executive Director commented: ‘Many aspects of WADA’s comprehensive research programme are of direct relevance to the Innovative Medicines Initiative’s goal of advancing medicines development. This Memorandum of Understanding will make it easier for us to share ideas and expertise and learn from one another.’

WADA Director General, David Howman said: ‘It is important for WADA to continue to partner with leading pharmaceutical and healthcare research organisations such as IMI for the benefit of our two communities; encouraging collaboration was the very purpose of the Second International Pharmaceutical Conference in Tokyo earlier this year. This partnership will help IMI minimise the risk of abuse of innovative medicines, and it will help WADA develop new strategies to identify substances that could be subject to misuse and abuse by athletes.’

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Press contacts

Catherine Brett – External Relations Manager, IMI
Tel: +32 2 541 8214 | Mobile: +32 484 896227 | E-mail:

Ben Nichols – Senior Media Relations Manager, WADA
Tel: + 1-514-904-8820 | Mobile: + 1-514-979-8820 | E-mail:

About the Innovative Medicines Initiative

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is working to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organisations, and medicines regulators.

IMI is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Through the IMI 2 programme, IMI has a budget of €3.3 billion for the period 2014-2024. Half of this comes from the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The other half comes from large companies, mostly from the pharmaceutical sector; these do not receive any EU funding, but contribute to the projects ‘in kind’, for example by donating their researchers’ time or providing access to research facilities or resources.

About the World Anti-Doping Agency

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the international independent organization created in 1999 to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against doping in sport in all its forms. The Agency is composed and funded equally by the sports movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code – the first document harmonizing regulations regarding anti-doping in all sports and all countries.