The world’s largest public-private partnership in life sciences, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), has launched two new ‘calls for proposals’, offering stakeholders from a variety of sectors the opportunity to take part in scientifically excellent, patient-centric research.

Among other projects, Call 7 will focus on novel clinical endpoints in dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and druggable targets to modulate misfolded proteins in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as Big Data, including efforts to improve clinical outcomes for people with heart disease through better access to, and use of data.

Call 8 focuses on proposals in the area of Ebola and other filoviral haemorrhagic fevers, where the main objectives will be to realise outputs that increase preparedness to react to future outbreaks.

The recent Ebola outbreak in western Africa – which infected over 28,000 people and killed over 11,000 – starkly highlighted the urgent need for new vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests for this devastating disease, said the IMI.

Pierre Meulien, IMI executive director, said: “These Calls for proposals demonstrate the added value of IMI. Excellent science exists in all of these research areas, but only by bringing together experts from industry, academia, small biotechs, patient groups, and others can we hope to translate world-class science into improved health for patients.”

The IMI will provide a budget of €70 million for the Ebola Call, while both the IMI and EFPIA companies will contribute €46.8 million towards Call 7. EFPIA companies do not receive any money from IMI but contribute largely in kind by donating researchers’ time or access to equipment and resources, for example.