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ISCF Leading-edge Healthcare funding adds to range of sector opportunities

Posted on 30/08/2017

Government aims to build on exporting strength of UK medicines manufacture.

£146 million to develop first-of-a-kind technologies that will speed up patient access to new medicines.

Business Secretary Greg Clark today launched a comprehensive funding programme in leading-edge healthcare – part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund investments first announced in April 2017.

The Leading-Edge Healthcare challenge was launched alongside a proposed life sciences strategy from Professor Sir John Bell which sets out industry recommendations for the long-term success of UK life sciences; including the establishment of the Healthcare Advanced Research Program (HARP), through which UK-based industries, charities and the NHS can work together to create new and more efficient ways of delivering sustainable healthcare.

The Leading-Edge Healthcare programme represents an investment of £146 million over 4 years to develop first-of-a-kind technologies for the manufacture of medicines that will speed up patient access to new drugs and treatments, improve public health and build the export strength of the UK’s medicines sector. Elements will include:

  • £66m for a Vaccines Development and Manufacturing Centre, to develop and manufacture vaccines for routine clinical trials and for emergency preparedness for epidemic threats.
  • £13m for a Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, to accelerate the adoption of emerging and novel manufacturing technologies and to transform fine chemical/pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • £30m for a small network of Advanced Therapy Treatment Centres, which will be based in hospitals and will transform the UK’s ability to develop and deliver cell and gene therapies at scale to large numbers of patients
  • £25m collaborative R&D innovation funding through competitions to support SMEs working in these areas

Leading-edge Healthcare programme funding of £12m will also double the manufacturing capacity of the Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing Centre in Stevenage.

This initiative adds to the healthcare sector opportunities already open through the Digital Catalyst competition – a £35m funding programme to be delivered through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund over the next 4 years – and the £10m Biomedical Catalyst Round 3, which supports the development of technologies and processes including disease prevention, early detection and tailored treatments.

KTN will host briefing events on these competitions – to register interest in attending please contact the Sarah Goulding at the KTN.