Thirty-two projects led by UK SMEs and universities will benefit from grants totalling £39m
Biomedical Catalyst grants totalling £39m have been awarded to 32 projects led by small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and universities. The money will be used to accelerate the development of new medicines and healthcare systems.
These are the first substantial awards made from the £180m Biomedical Catalyst, a programme of public funding jointly managed by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).
The programme provides support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK, enabling businesses and academics to speed-up the translation of scientific ideas into commercial propositions.
A digital healthcare system that will provide early diagnosis of dementia, a universal flu vaccine that could protect against all known strains of the illness, and a targeted therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer are just three innovations that will be evaluated, developed or demonstrated using the funding provided by the Biomedical Catalyst.
David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said: ‘Britain is in a global race today and this £39m investment will help keep us at the very forefront of life sciences by supporting some of our most innovative SMEs and universities. It will help take excellent ideas through to market, driving growth and helping patients benefit from the very latest technologies and treatments.’
The Biomedical Catalyst’s initial funding awards, announced in August, injected nearly £10m into 14 universities and 18 SMEs. Through these new funding awards, grants totalling £29.6m have been agreed for 22 projects led by SMEs, while a further £9.5m has been awarded to ten projects led by academic institutions.
This £39m investment will keep the UK at the forefront of life sciences
The projects include:
The Bioindustry Association (BIA), which represents the UK biotech sector, welcomed the announcement of the grant awards. BIA chief executive Steve Bates said the funding is a ‘very welcome boost for UK bioscience’, a key UK export sector.
‘It's great that the UK's excellence in medical research can now move closer to becoming therapies for patients,’ he said.
‘I encourage all UK based bioscience companies to consider applying for the next round.’