Innovating antibiotics

Why IMI launched EU-industry consortium to transform antibiotic development

Europe's Innovative Medicines Initiative is testing the boundaries of public-private collaboration by funding late-stage trials of pharma-backed compounds as part of a €223.7 million ($281.6 million) consortium supporting the development of new antibiotics. In return, participating companies will share clinical data, and may need to consider the role public funding played when determining pricing if the drugs reach the European market.

IMI is a public-private partnership between the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). It was created to increase Europe's competitiveness in biomedical innovation and to overcome bottlenecks in drug development by encouraging collaboration between stakeholders including pharma, academics, and biotech companies.

The project was approved in 2007 with a budget of €2 billion ($2.9 billion) over 10 years, half as cash from the EC and half in in-kind contributions from EFPIA members.

IMI now is funding 38 projects with a combined budget of about €920 million. These have focused on a variety of topics including the development of new disease models and biomarker discovery initiatives.

Examples include two projects announced this year: a €169 million consortium to assemble and screen a collection of at least 300,000 pharma-contributed compounds, and a €29.6 million consortium to develop research tools and diagnostics for autism spectrum

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