Keynote Tuesday

Dr. Pierre Meulien
Executive Director of The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)

How to harness big data for the benefit of patients

IMI is a large public private partnership which has committed Euro 5 Billion from the European Commission, the European Pharmaceutical sector and other partners, to enable and accelerate bringing medical innovation to patients. IMI is now 10 years old and already has changed the ecosystem and way of working in developing innovative medicines across the public /private divide.
Big data represents a significant piece of this investment and projects in this area are attempting to provide solutions to major challenges including:

  1. Data integration from many sources across many jurisdictions and institutions and which need to be validated with regard to their quality and robustness
  2. Data interfaces, for example, between research and clinical data and how to overcome the challenges around data protection and access
  3. Data standards and who establishes these and how they are deployed
  4. How do we scale and sustain some of the successful pilots to ensure the value of the investment?
  5. How do we take advantage of the digital revolution to enable more relevant and accurate data capture in the real world?

Much has been done already through IMI projects and beyond and now we need to consolidate through intelligent implementation across the European landscape. With a mixture of generic and disease specific investments, and although many challenges remain, significant progress has been made and examples of success will be described.

Pierre Meulien is executive director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a €5 billion public-private partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry. At IMI, he is responsible for the overall management of the program, which works to improve and accelerate the drug development process by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in health research. Previously, Dr. Meulien was president and CEO of Genome Canada, where he raised money and oversaw the launch of novel projects and networks in the field of genomics-based technologies. Prior to that, he was chief scientific officer for Genome British Columbia and was the founding CEO of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Center. Dr. Meulien also worked with the French biotechnology company Transgene and with Aventis Pasteur (now Sanofi Pasteur). He has a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Edinburgh and carried out a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.