Public-private partnership models in France and in Europe

Jacques Demotes-Mainard, Emmanuel Canet, Lionel Segard
Thérapie 2006, 61 (4): 325-34, 313-23
The workshop entitled "Public-Private partnerships models in Europe-- comparison between France and European countries" brought together representatives of academia and industry, of national or European health research programs, of regional or national public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives, and of biotechnology with the following objectives: sharing a common vision on the needs, expectations and challenges of public-private partnership, based on the analysis of actual and original cases, and of new initiatives on public-private partnership, drawing conclusions and identifying key success factors, identifying trails for progress and drawing recommendations. The major event in this field is a European public-private partnership initiative between pharmaceutical industry (European Federation of Pharmaceultical Industry and Associations, EFPIA) and the European Commission (DG Research--health priority) resulting in the European Technology Platform project "Innovative Medicines Initiative" (IMI). Its architecture is based on the identification of the main bottlenecks to the development of innovative treatments (predictive pharmacology and toxicology, identification and validation of biomarkers, patients' recruitment, risk evaluation, and cooperation with the regulatory authorities). Simultaneously, initiatives both at the national and regional levels also foster PPP in the therapeutic field. Regional competitivity clusters acting in the biomedical sector, and national PPP calls such as the ANR (National Research Agency) RIB (Research and Innovation in Biotechnology) call are incentives for PPP projects. These regional and national PPP levels help public and private partners to further build consortia able to compete for EU-level calls, thus acting as incubators for EU PPP projects. In spite of incentives and of the regional and national structuring of PPP, weaknesses in the French system are linked to its fragmentation--multiple transfer agencies, multiple research organisations (operator or funding agency)--making contracts more difficult. This requires a simplified organisation, with a single referent per area (health, technology...). Improvement may also result from adaptation in the carreer, recruitment and mobility, from support to scientists in the management of projects, and from consistent support (without maintaining them artificially alive) to emerging companies from concept through clinical development. Pathways have been proposed to improve the efficiency of clinical research in France and Europe, involving the public hospital sector, and this requires the connection of disease-oriented networks and integrated infrastructures in Europe. As stated in the IMI strategic research agenda on efficacy, the quality of public infrastructures in Europe will be a key factor for its competitiveness and attractiveness for both academic and industry projects.

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