European Commission Partners with Pharma for €280m Ebola Initiative

The European Commission yesterday announced a new initiative with the European pharmaceutical industry for proposals under the Innovative Medicines Initiative to boost European research into Ebola.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative aims to improve healthcare by quickening the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, principally in areas where there is an unmet need for treatment.

The initiative is being funded equally by Horizon 2020 and pharmaceutical companies that are members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), with a combined total of 280 million Euros.

The European Commission confirmed that the funding will cover “urgent actions addressing the current epidemic and put in place a long-term strategy to manage any future outbreaks.”

The investment complements the recently-announced 24.4 million Euros dedicated to speeding up some of the most promising research to develop vaccines and treatments.

The call for proposals will use a new fast-track procedure to get successful projects running in early 2015. The research will involve large-scale clinical trials of new vaccines in addition to the “development of fast diagnostic tests and new approaches to manufacture and distribute vaccines.”

Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, commented that with the funding “we are stepping up the development of new vaccines and medications to help save lives around the world.”

EFPIA’s director-general, Richard Bergstrom, stated that “stopping the spread of Ebola, now and for future generations, is a key priority for the pharmaceutical industry, which has a long history in fighting pervasive infectious disease.”


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