A two billion-euro program funded by the European Commission and the biopharma industry has unleashed a fresh, $241 million round of financing for dozens projects aimed at spurring close alliances among academics and drug developers. The Innovative Medicines Initiative, which launched back in 2007, also offered an update on various programs it has already funded.
In this latest round 65 projects involving members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, 103 academic teams, various enterprises and patient groups gained funds to develop drugs for rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and infectious diseases. And industry leaders are voicing their support.
"The industry has reached an inflection point where public private partnerships, based on open innovation networks, will improve the efficiency of pharmaceutical companies in bringing safe, efficacious, cost-effective treatments to patients," says UCB CEO Roch Doliveux.
The European drug development industry needs all the help it can get right now. Venture cash has been hard to come by for several years and a host of developers and pharma companies in the region have been hammered with setbacks. Pfizer's decision to shutter its Sandwich operations hasn't helped.