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EU Approves $4.77B Innovative Medicines Initiative Plan

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The European Union Parliament has approved a €3.45 billion ($4.77 billion) plan that will use funding from the EU and private and public sector partners to fund biomedical research programs aimed at improving biomarkers, clinical trials, new drugs, and programs that help patients adhere to their regimens.

The 10-year plan will fund the second phase of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI2), and includes €1.73 billion from the EU's Horizon 2020 budget and €1.5 billion from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Other life science partners may contribute another €225 million, if they decide to join IMI2 either as members or as partners on individual projects.

The initiative passed as one component of a €22 billion research and technology funding plan, the European Commission said this week.

The IMI2 program will focus on funding research in four main research areas: target validation and biomarker research (including efficacy and safety,) adoption of innovative clinical trial paradigms, development of new medicines, and creating patient-tailored adherence programs.

IMI2 will pursue multiple goals on the biomarker front, with the driving objective being to leverage the growing body of omics data sets and epigenetic markers, along with electronic medical records and bioinformatics tools.

These programs will seek to identify new or alternative therapeutic targets for use in pharmacogenetics studies; identify and validate biomarkers, tools, and assays to stratify patients; better understand biomarkers; improve immune response profiling; understand molecular determinants of responses to drugs and vaccines and molecular mechanisms involved in drug toxicity; and develop preclinical assays for predicting drug responses, among other similar projects.

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