£93m support package announced for health industries

Posted on 1 Aug 2013 by Tim Brown

Innovative business and academic projects from across the UK’s health sector will benefit from a new £93.2 million package of support announced yesterday by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts.

The investment includes £25.9 million from Round 3 of the Biomedical Catalyst. 29 companies and five universities will receive investment from the Catalyst. Projects include clinical trials to ‘repurpose’ a cancer drug that could be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and an implant to reduce pain and restore mobility to knee cartilage injuries.

As part of the recent Spending Review it was announced that there will be additional support for the Catalyst. Academic researchers and universities can continue to apply for additional funding through the Technology Strategy Board and Medical Research Council (MRC) in Round 4 of the Biomedical Catalyst, which is now open.

In a further boost to the biomedical industry, a new £38 million National Biologics Manufacturing Centre (NBMC) will be based in Darlington. The centre, being funded through investment announced as part of the life sciences strategy, will be a national base for the manufacturing of biological medicines such as antibodies and vaccines.

To complete the package of support, a further £29.3 million of investment in healthcare innovation has been announced through three Technology Strategy Board led funding competitions. These will support businesses in areas such as stratified medicine and regenerative medicine.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “By investing in new technologies now we are maintaining the UK’s position as a world leader for innovation. The biomedical industry is a fast moving, high growth sector and the Catalyst has proven to be extremely successful in supporting new business ideas. This investment further drives forward our life sciences strategy.”