Brussels, Belgium, 3 March 2020 – the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is launching a fast-track Call for proposals on the development of therapeutics and diagnostics to tackle current and future coronavirus outbreaks.
IMI is looking for proposals that address:
Preventive vaccines are not included in the Call, as IMI does not want to duplicate the work of other organisations in this area.
Dr Pierre Meulien, IMI Executive Director commented: ‘Collaborative projects involving companies, universities and public bodies have the potential to dramatically accelerate the development of new treatments and diagnostics to tackle this threat to global public health. During the outbreak of Ebola in western Africa, we demonstrated that IMI can rapidly launch projects and deliver results in an outbreak setting, and I am confident that we can do it again for the coronavirus.’
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: ‘I welcome the rapid response of IMI to the coronavirus outbreak. This collaboration between the public and the private sectors brings their expertise and resources together in our fight against the coronavirus outbreak. This will help speed up the development of treatments and diagnostics in face of this global emergency and increase our preparedness for future outbreaks.’
The Call has a budget of EUR 45 million – this comes from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and will fund the involvement in the projects of organisations such as universities and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Large pharmaceutical companies that are members of EFPIA and IMI2 Associated Partners will not receive EU funding through this Call, but are expected to contribute to the projects with their own resources (e.g. staff time) and funds.
This is a fast-track, competitive funding Call. Proposals will be assessed by independent experts, and the funding will go to the consortia with the highest scores. Applicants who want to score well will need to demonstrate their ability to develop tests and/or treatments for COVID-19, and maximise the added value of the IMI2 public-private partnership by including contributing partners (e.g. EFPIA companies and/or IMI2 Associated Partner(s)) in their consortium.
Meanwhile IMI projects are already delivering results and resources that are relevant to the current outbreak.
The new IMI Call for proposals is part of the European Commission’s wider response to the coronavirus outbreak, which includes support to the World Health Organization (WHO) for the global preparedness and response plan; support for African countries for rapid diagnosis and disease surveillance; and a EUR 10 million Call for proposals under the Health societal challenge of Horizon 2020.