Every year, the Innovative Medicines Initiative Stakeholder Forum gathers IMI’s stakeholders in health and medicines R&D and provides them with an opportunity to learn about and discuss IMI's latest activities and plans. The 2015 event asked three questions:
- How far have we come?
- Where are we now?
- Where should we go next?
Over 300 people attended the event in person, with more people following the event online.
By 11:00, the room was packed...
An exciting announcement - a new Executive Director for IMI
IMI's Acting Executive Director, Irene Nortsedt, formally opened the event before handing over to IMI Governing Board Deputy Chair Rudolf Strohmeier of the European Commission. After briefly reminding attendees of the many benefits of IMI, he made an exciting announcement - Pierre Meulien has been appointed as new IMI Executive Director. The news was quickly picked up by the Brussels media. He was also congratulated by Commissioner Carlos Moedas.
A lot of keynote speeches in Brussels are given by political types who say pretty predictable things. For the IMI Stakeholder Forum 2015, we went for a different option. Our keynote speech was given by a young Danish diabetes patient, Anders Kristensen, who gave a moving account of the impact of diabetes on his life, and made a passionate plea for the kind of research he wants to see.
The first session after the keynote featured three ongoing IMI projects - the goal here was to demonstrate how far we have come since IMI was launched back in 2008. IMITRAIN is the amalgamation of the IMI Education & Training projects EMTRAIN, Eu2P, PharmaTrain, and SafeSciMET. The European Lead Factory is developing a unique European compound collection and screening centre to advance drug development. And eTOX is developing novel tools to improve our ability to predict the toxicity of potential medicines on vital organs like the heart.
The session was moderated by EFPIA Director General Richard Bergström, who brought up one of the key themes of the day - big data.