The European Union’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has awarded an unprecedented €115 million grant to support autism research. The funding is the largest grant ever provided for research on neurodevelopmental conditions.
The grant will fund the Autism Innovative Medicine Studies-2 (AIMS-2) Trials initiative which will create the first European clinical trials network for autism. It will allow for an internationally integrated partnership with charities, government agencies, and industry, to rapidly determine if therapies are effective.
Project lead, Professor Declan Murphy from King's College London, says: 'Many autistic people face extremely poor health outcomes, yet autism research receives far less investment than other conditions which also limit life expectancy and quality of life, such as cancer or dementia. This grant will allow us to bridge the gap between basic biology and the clinic by offering personalised approaches that address problems which really impact autistic people's lives.”
The AIMS-2 Trials initiative builds on the IMI-funded European Autism Interventions - A Multicentre Study for Developing New Medications (EU-AIMS) which took place between April 2012 and March 2018. It was the first Europe-wide collaboration between organisations representing autistic people and their families, academia and industry.