Horizon 2020: Results of IMI Fast-Track Call for Covid-19

On 3 March 2020, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) supported through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020  Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, launched a special fast-track call for the “Development of therapeutics  and diagnostics combating coronavirus infections” with an EU contribution of €45 million, which was subsequently increased to €72 million.

As part of the IMI public-private partnership, the  pharmaceutical industry, IMI Associated Partners and other  organisations will contribute an additional €45 million,  bringing the total funding to €117 million.

On 12 May 2020, following the independent evaluation of proposals, it was announced that 8 projects were short- listed for funding. These projects involve researchers from 94 organisations across Europe, including universities,  research organisations, companies, and public bodies. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are particularly  well represented in the successful proposals, accounting for over 20 % of the participants and 17 % of the budget.

The projects form part of the European Commission’s wider response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Of the eight projects, five focus on diagnostics and three on treatments.
Diagnostic tests: the 5 projects on diagnostics aim to develop devices that can be used anywhere and will  deliver results very quickly, enabling front-line health workers to make the diagnosis more quickly and more  accurately, which will in turn reduce the risk of further spread of the virus.
New treatments: the 3 projects on therapies address primarily the current COVID-19 outbreak, but also  foresee efforts to prepare for future coronavirus outbreaks.