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Eight new projects will focus on the diverse needs of the Ebola epidemic, such as new vaccine development, production and distribution, and new diagnostic methods.
The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) have announced their newest collaborative consortia expected to be established as part of the Ebola+ program.
According to the press release, eight new projects will focus on the diverse needs of the Ebola epidemic, such as new vaccine development, production and distribution, and new diagnostic methods. These projects form the first step in the Ebola+ program, in which EUR215 million has been invested as part an the international effort to battle Ebola.
IMI launched the Ebola+ program in November 2014 and since then, the pharmaceutical industry and the European Commission have joined forces to contribute.
Today’s announcement comes days before the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, which will include a discussion on global health security inspired by the latest battle with Ebola.
“The discussions on Ebola set to take place in Davos demonstrate the need to find new ways to deal with such global health crises. The Innovative Medicines Initiative, with its ability to mobilize various public and private partners, offers one solution. Thanks to its collaborative spirit, IMI’s Ebola+ program allows us to work towards solutions efficiently, in a way that no single body could alone,” said EFPIA director general, Richard Bergström, in a press release.
IMI acting executive director, Irene Norstedt, commented, “The launch of these exciting new projects demonstrates the ability of the Innovative Medicines Initiative to respond rapidly to emerging healthcare emergencies with a program that will tackle a range of challenges in Ebola research while complementing work supported by other organizations. Our hope is that these projects will help to make a difference in both the current and future outbreaks.”
There is currently no vaccine or treatment against Ebola, noted European Commissioner for research, science, and innovation, Carlos Moedas. He added that the funding from Horizon 2020 and industry partners will enable faster vaccine development for the disease, including rapid diagnostic tests to aid health workers.
Details on the projects are available on IMI’s website.