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SIP 2017 - Presentation & Statement

Dr. Elisabetta Vaudano – Innovative Medicines Initiative, Belgium

"The effective management of pain is an increasing concern in the medical arena, and in the broader economic and political environment. The only way to tackle effectively this challenge is to join forces in an open collaborative way involving all stakeholders, both from the public and private sectors, and keeping the patients in the centre."


Dr. Elisabetta Vaudano
Principal Scientific Manager
Innovative Medicines Initiative

Pain and particularly chronic pain is a major health care challenge. Approximately 20% of the world’s population has an on-going pain problem, many of whom are poorly served with currently available treatment modalities. Better translational tools and novel and more efficient and effective clinical trials are urgently needed if the promise of innovative treatments to pain patients has to be delivered.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is working to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organisations, and medicines regulators. IMI is a partnership between the European Union (represented by the European Commission) and the European pharmaceutical industry (represented by EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations).

Pain and in particular chronic pain has been an area of focus for IMI from its very beginning with the implementation of the EUROPAIN project. In IMI2 recognition of the continuing high need for improving understanding, treatment and management of pain and that the magnitude and complexity of these goals require complementary expertise and multi-disciplinary approaches which are best assured by public-private partnerships between industry, small/ medium-sized enterprises, academia, healthcare professionals (HCPs), patients and regulators has led to the creation of the strategic Pain Group a satellite to the IMI2 Strategic Governance Group Neurodegeneration in July 2015. The Pain group is responsible to define Call proposals addressing a broad spectrum of relevant pre-competitive themes in pain and it has already generated two topics, one of which is aimed to deliver an ambitious pain platform, while more are in the pipeline.

The EUROPAIN project has now concluded successfully its activities The IMI2 pain strategy, including the first projects already implemented or in the making, and provide some insights on what is in the pipeline for the future will be presented.

Italian born Elisabetta Vaudano is responsible of the Neuroscience area at the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), the largest European Public Private partnership in Health Sciences with a total budget of more than 5 billion EUR. Elisabetta is a doctor in veterinary medicine, holds a PhD in neuroscience and an MSc in Laboratory Animal Science. Elisabetta started her carrier as scientist in Academia working in the field of neuronal degeneration, regeneration and plasticity in Italy, UK, Sweden and Denmark. Elisabetta moved to industry in 2000, when she joined Lundbeck as group leader of their Parkinson’s disease in vivo Neuroprotection Group. In 2004 she became Head of Pharmacology and CNS Biology at ENKAM Pharmaceuticals (SME). Elisabetta joined IMI in 2010.