The UK government is set to invest £220m in a package of measures for the life science and university sectors to support the use of cutting edge technologies.
The support was announced by the chancellor Philip Hammond over the weekend and half of it will be tailored to help translate medical technology breakthroughs into commercial success.
The investment was welcomed by industry body the ABPI, which said it “demonstrates the Government’s continued support for the UK life sciences industry”.
Chief executive Mike Thompson hailed the four-year funding plan as a “clear signal from Government that the UK remains a great place for life sciences and will be well received by all in the industry”.
Nearly half of the funding – £100m – has been earmarked for the Biomedical Catalyst (BMC), an accelerative novel products programme created by the government-funded bodies Medical Research Council and Innovate UK.
This will see grants awarded for the development of disruptive healthcare technologies in disease prevention, earlier diagnosis and personalised medicines from feasibility studies through to early clinical trials.
The remaining £120m will be used to incentivise academic collaborations with pharma and other sectors, sharing technologies to help transform university-led research into viable business ventures, like Nottingham University’s cancer detection project Oncimmune which is developing ablood test for lung cancer.
Commenting on the announcement, which came on the eve of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Thompson said: “We hope that today’s investment is just a first step.
“We look forward to the publication of the Accelorated Access Review in the coming weeks which should drive further investment and innovation in our sector and help improve access to innovative medicines and treatments for NHS patients.”