£18m fund to support next medical innovation

Twelve new treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies are set to receive funding.

The next generation of medical advances have moved a step closer thanks to £18 million of Government support announced today by Minister for Life Sciences, George Freeman.

Twelve new treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies will receive funding from the eighth round of the Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) – a joint programme run by the Medical Research Council and the Government’s innovation experts, Innovate UK.

Successful projects include £759,000 funding for developing a device that patients can use at home to monitor for lung infections caused by bacteria and fungi.

Minister for Life Sciences, George Freeman.
Minister for Life Sciences, George Freeman.

Led by Glasgow based Ohmedics Ltd, the project could help minimise lung damage and improve the quality of life for patients with chronic lung diseases, as well as help reduce the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics by GP surgeries.

Describing the UK healthcare industry as having a “worldwide reputation for excellence”, Minister for Life Sciences George Freeman commented: “By providing early support to these latest treatment and diagnosis developments, we are not only going to potentially help improve or save lives, we are helping businesses grow and boost the UK’s productivity.”

Chief executive of the Medical Research Council, Professor Sir John Savill reflected: “This round of awards is a further demonstration of the exceptional science coming out of the vibrant academic and industrial research base of the UK.

“The continued success of the Biomedical Catalyst illustrates the value of dedicated support to ensure that this country can rapidly exploit world-leading science for the benefit of patients and the UK economy.”

Ruth McKernan CBE, new Chief Executive of Innovate UK
Ruth McKernan CBE, chief executive of Innovate UK.

Chief Executive of Innovate UK, Dr Ruth McKernan added: “Delivering efficient and effective healthcare has never been more important, and innovation is central to making that happen.

“Through the Biomedical Catalyst, Innovate UK have backed innovative companies that are taking on this challenge and developing the medical advances of the future that will potentially help to save lives and money.”

The Biomedical Catalyst supports UK academics and small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) seeking to take their research from discovery through to commercialisation to deliver patient benefit.