The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is broadening its base in its latest call for proposals by bringing in funding partners from the non-profit sector. The new partners will add to the portfolio of projects backed through the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).
Under the second phase of IMI, “associate partner” non-profits are a core component of the strategy to expand the slate of stakeholders. Catherine Brett, external relations manager for IMI, told BioCentury that although non-profits were able to contribute funds under IMI 1, “that kind of contribution wasn’t recognized in a formal way.” Under IMI 2 they can now compete on an equal footing with the private sector for matching funds.
The new call is the largest so far under IMI 2, and will include five disease-specific non-profits. The top disease areas to benefit from the change are diabetes and autism.
Diabetes charities JDRF and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, who are already involved in IMI, will be joined by T1D Exchange in supporting research into the impact of hypoglycemia on diabetics.
In July 2014, JDRF and the Helmsley Charitable Trust contributed €2.8 million ($3.0 million) and €2.2 million ($2.3 million), respectively, toward the first IMI 2 call, which focused on diabetes detection.
Additionally, the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) and Autism Speaks Inc. will support a project to consolidate autism clinical research under a Europe-wide infrastructure to improve trials and validate biomarkers.
IMI also aims to build a pediatric clinical trials network for cancer and other diseases to