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Partnerships needed to boost EU medicines discovery

The president of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations has said that a decline in EU medicines discovery can be offset by cooperation between industries and government
The president of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) has said that a decline in EU medicines discovery can be offset by cooperation between industries and government.

Marking the first call for proposals under the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), Arthur Higgins, president of EFPIA and chief executive officer of Bayer Healthcare, says the industry is ready to play its part in furthering biomedical research. According to the federation, higher costs, increasing complexity and tougher regulatory controls have contributed to a slow down in European based biopharmaceutical research.

"Challenges in biomedical sciences have become so complex that no single research-based pharmaceutical company is able to face them alone," said Higgins. "We cannot solve all these issues by ourselves ñ but rather, we need to join forces with partners to address the main causes of delays."

The IMI is a partnership between the European Community and the pharmaceutical industry, represented by EFPIA, which will dedicate $2bn over the next five years to boost biomedical research. The European Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potocnik, joined EFPIA president's call for collaborative ventures to bolster the EU's leadership role in biopharmaceutical innovation

Jonathan Knowles, chairman of IMI's governing board, EFPIA's research director's group and head of group research at Hoffmann-la Roche, said that Europe "Is lagging behind other global players such as the US. The IMI will ensure that Europe's biomedical sciences receive targeted strategic support for the benefit of patients, scientists and citizens."

1st May 2008

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