Luxinnovation and its partners, the Luxembourg Center for Biomedicine Systems (LCSB), the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL), the National Health Laboratory (LNS) and the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), have announced that they are organising the international conference "IMI Networking event - Pharma meets Academia", on 14 December 2018 at the premises of the LNS in Luxembourg.

This is also the opportunity to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a joint technological initiative on innovative medicines promoting European cooperation between the pharmaceutical industry and scientists.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is the world's largest public-private partnership in the life sciences, bringing together the European Union (represented by the European Commission) and the European Pharmaceutical Industry (represented by EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations).
Key Objective: improving health by accelerating the development and access of patients to innovative medicines, particularly in areas where medical or social needs are unmet.

The significant research and innovation budgets available through this initiative are up for this challenge. Whereas EUR 2 billion has already been spent for the period 2008-2013; more than EUR 3 billion will be invested until 2020 to provide new solutions in the fields of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, vaccines or antibiotics. Not to mention harnessing the potential of big data for the organisation of more efficient and faster clinical trials, or the use of more clinically relevant biomarkers approved by regulators.

This funding enables the implementation of collaborative projects between the main actors in health research, including universities, research centres, pharmaceutical and other industries, SMEs, patient organisations and pharmaceutical regulatory authorities. This unique approach removes the many barriers in terms of research, clinical development and / or regulation that delay the marketing of drugs.
The patient at the heart of the projects
The Ministry of Higher Education and Research stated that it is particularly pleased to note a significant participation of Luxembourg players in IMI projects. The efforts made by the government since 2010 to strengthen the excellence of Luxembourg's biomedical research (Health Technologies Action Plan) are bearing fruit, resulting in a growing participation of the LCSB and the IBBL in IMI projects.

"The year 2018 was particularly successful in terms of funded projects, with a return of almost 6 million EUR for Luxembourg participants," said Charles Betz, the national contact point for European medical research at Luxinnovation. "The 10th anniversary celebrations are a great opportunity to look back on these past successes and look forward to the future."

The integration of the CHL (Luxembourg Hospital Centre) and the Alzheimer's Patients Association Europe reflects the importance of patients in IMI projects. A key point that will be developed in particular at this conference by Dr. Anna Chioti, member of the Scientific Committee of IMI active at the Ministry of Health of Luxembourg.

"Knowing that the development of medicines requires the increasing integration of new technologies, in particular portable medical devices, digital applications and other artificial intelligence platforms, in the future by industrial players, in particular SMEs: we have certain assets in this field," predicted Françoise Liners, Head of Health Technologies Directorate at the Ministry of the Economy and Luxembourg representative in the State Representative Group of IMI.

Thus, the international conference "IMI Networking Event - Pharma meets Academia" of 14 December will focus on the topic of medical data valuation and sustainability. Il will allow all stakeholders - academics, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, financing experts - to highlight the actions of the European Union and pharmaceutical companies and lay the groundwork for potential future cooperation.