ScanBalt BioRegion Joins Forces in Innovative Medicine

ScanBalt BioRegion Joins Forces in Innovative Medicine

The ScanBalt BioRegion has shown great support to the Medicon Valley led action focusing on the EU initiative on Innovative Medicines (IMI – Innovative Medicines Initiative). Within just a few months a network of more than 500 individuals has been established.

The Medicon Valley based “IMI workgroup” with a core of Danish and Swedish public and private actors, is supported by actors in all of ScanBalt BioRegion. It is this multinational, public private support that can create the base for a successful participation in the Innovative Medicines Initiative.
Jørgen Dirach, Novo Nordisk, from the IMI workgroup says: There is no question that Innovative Medicines Initiative will form a substantial part of the EU’s future funding for sciences within R&D of new medicines, if approved. The present IMI network in the ScanBalt Bioregion represents a very strong player in this field.
More than 130 people have travelled to Ørestad to take part in two IMI Stakeholder meetings. The 1st Stakeholder meeting focused on four targeted disease areas: Cancer, Diabetes, Brain disorders and Inflammation, more than 60 people participated actively in the focus groups. The 2nd Stakeholder meeting was organised in collaboration with ScanBalt Clinical Research network and focused on “Clinical trials and patient recruitment” gathering more than 70 key actors from the Clinical Research Organisations, from Diagnostics, and a full panel representing Patient organisations.

After the 2nd meeting, Jaanus Pikani, Estonian Biotechnology Association and coordinator of the ScanBalt Clinical Research Network stated: “This initiative clearly shows the potential in acting on a meta-regional level. ScanBalt sets the common frame of operation, and the Innovative Medicines Initiative provides a very good example of how efficient the Bioregional network can respond to new opportunities”
The IMI workgroup has received support from the Nordic Innovation Centre, and
ScanBalt officially supports the location of an Executive office for the Innovative Medicines Initiative in the Medicon Valley region.

More information at the IMI workgroup website:www.mva.org/imi or
please contact Lise Vinkel Clausen (lv@scanbalt.org )
Background and EU actions
In order to strengthen the European competitiveness, the European Commission developed the concept of the European Technology Platforms (ETP) to address major economic or technological challenges.

At the moment Europe has lost its lead as a global centre for biomedical research . The European pharmaceutical sector employs 588,000 people including 100,000 in R&D, with an R&D investment of €20,500 million. Huge opportunities remain to be exploited in genomics and their combination with other technologies. Nonetheless there is cause for concern.

In 1990, major European research-based companies spent 73% of their worldwide R&D expenditure in EU territory. In 1999, they spent only 59% in EU territory. The USA was the main beneficiary of this transfer of R&D Expenditure. Furthermore, in 1992 six out of the ten top selling pharmaceuticals were produced by European companies. In 2002, this figure had fallen down to two out of ten. This is affecting growth and development of the Pharmaceutical industry in Europe, to the detriment of both patients and society.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative will target the key barriers to development of new drugs in Europe within Safety, Efficacy, Knowledge Management and Education & Training.

An Innovative Medicines Initiative technology platform will foster public-private partnerships between all relevant stakeholders. Encouraged by the European Commission, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) has identified the main barriers to innovation in biomedical research in a Strategic Research Agenda.

ScanBalt members: