New EU Project to Tackle Innovation Bottlenecks in Pharma Industry

Pharmaceutical Industry Experts Converge on IESE


Twenty-seven EU countries and 27 private international companies have joined forces to alleviate the principle causes of delay, or "bottlenecks," in the process of discovering and developing new medicines. Combined, the EU government and the private sector have committed 2 billion euros to the project, called "The Innovative Medicines Initiative."

Irene Norstedt, Head of Innovative Medicines, Health Research, European Commission, explained the EU's new groundbreaking project at the 2nd Pharmaceutical Industry Meeting, held at IESE on Oct. 23. The meeting brings together industry and governmental experts to discuss the latest developments in the pharmaceutical sector. The director of the event is IESE Prof. Pedro Nueno.

So far, there has been "very high interest from industry" to participate in the Innovative Medicines Initiative, Norstedt told the audience. The initiative's website is

Speaking during the same session was Prof. Antonio Monge, Managing Director of the Applied Pharmaceutical Research Center (CIFA) at the University of Navarra. Prof. Monge stressed the importance of finding ways to maximize the effectiveness of medicines that already exist, since "it is always possible to improve what is already known."

In a separate session, Antonio Esteve, president of Laboratorios Esteve, outlined various trends in the sector, such as moderate growth in Western markets, as compared with an upswing in growth in emerging markets. He also noted the expansion of generic medicines on a global level, the increasing number of informed consumers and the transformation process which is currently under way in the chemical-pharmaceutical industry. The result of these developments is that businesses cannot survive if they do not innovate, he said.

"Organizations without vision do not create a future, they merely react to current pressures," Esteve stressed.