A manifesto for an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) on health was signed in March 2022 between 16 EU member states which aims to develop gene and cell therapies, and treatments for rare diseases (among others). The IPCEI was signed to address the need to equip Europe with a strong, innovative and export-friendly healthcare industry that is able to meet the challenges posed by the future of medical care, and to share a strategic vision for developing lasting and innovative European manufacturing capabilities with regards to critical products, notably pharmaceuticals.
Projects that will receive support in 2022 will focus on three strategic areas:
- Developing innovative and greener technologies and production processes for manufacturing medicines
- Innovating with regard to strategic challenges such as fighting antibiotic resistance and developing treatments for rare diseases, and responding to future pandemics
- Developing gene and cell therapies.
The implementation timeline for the IPCEI will be divided into two phases:
- The first phase will be devoted to the three strategic areas (see bullets above). Projects will be pre-notified to the European Commission in two stages: in June 2022, and in October 2022.
- In the second phase, projects will also be pre-notified to the Commission by end-2022. They will involve foundational areas such as medical devices, medtech and digital healthcare more broadly.
France, which currently has the Presidency of the EU Council, has secured project financing of €1.5 billion for the IPCEI which will “help to strengthen the EU’s strategic autonomy in the health sector”, according to a statement on the IPCEI. The signatory countries are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.
https://presidence-francaise.consilium,europa.eu, “Launch of an IPCEI on Health Announced During the Ministerial Conference ‘Towards an Independent, Competitive and Innovative European Healthcare Sector’”, 3rd March 2022