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EASD 2013: Pharma backs public/private diabetes research collaboration

Sanofi, Lilly and Boehringer support part of IMI Diabetes Platform
EASD 2013 Barcelona

Several pharma companies, including Sanofi, Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim, have put their support behind a collaboration between industry and the European Commission (EC) to research diabetes.

The venture, which was launched at the meeting of European Association for the Study of Diabetes 2013 in Barcelona, stems from the EU's public/ private research collaboration the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and comes with a budget of €100m.

Its aim is to address the growing global issue of diabetes, with patient numbers expected to rise to 552 million by 2030, creating both a huge healthcare and economic burden worldwide.

It brings together the IMI-backed research projects Imidia, Direct and Summit under the name the IMI Diabetes Platform.

Key aims of the venture include slowing down disease progression, better understanding of the condition and improving treatment for related complications.

Pharma involvement comes from the current work of companies in the different research projects that comprise the Platform.

Sanofi works with Servier, the University of Lausanne and other partners as Imidia to research beta cell function and diagnostic biomarkers, while Sanofi is also part of the Direct team, alongside Lilly, the University of Dundee and other private and academic partners, to research biomarkers to improve treatment of type 2 diabetes.

The Summit projects features Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly – who also have a diabetes research partnership of their own – as well as Lund University and the University of Dundee. Together these partners are developing ways to improve clinical trial testing of medicines for vascular complications related to diabetes.

According to the IMI, the Platform “provides the framework for taking these collaboration activities one step further”.

This includes not only providing extra funding but bringing together expertise and encouraging the sharing of knowledge and findings between all partners.

The IMI posted a joint statement from representatives of the involved pharma companies. It said: “Reaching such a new level of cross-consortium collaboration opportunities strongly improves the scientific power of our endeavours to faster develop better and safer medicines for diabetes care.”

The IMI Diabetes Platform follows other IMI collaborations involving several pharma companies working with academia and the public sector.

These include efforts to research new antibiotics to tackle antimicrobial resistance and the European Lead Factory, which is a platform designed to act as a library of small molecules to help drug discovery.

Article by
Thomas Meek

25th September 2013

From: Research, Healthcare

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