Funding announced for new drugs manufacturing centres in the UK

Out-Law News | 22 Jan 2018 | 4:58 pm | 1 min. read

New centres for manufacturing medicines are to receive £70 million of funding from the UK government.

The commitment is part of the 'sector deal' struck by the government and the life sciences industry late last year and the government's broader industrial strategy.

The new manufacturing centres, once established, will "help speed up the development of new medicines", the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK said in a joint statement.

"[The money] will create innovative new medical solutions, including using virtual reality to aid rehabilitation and investing in digital speech therapy solutions for stroke and brain injuries," they said. "The government’s investment in high tech medical research will in turn boost jobs, enhance the NHS and ensure better care for people when they are unwell."

The funding was confirmed by science minister Sam Gyimah on Monday.

"This investment will not only support high-value, highly-skilled jobs but will develop lifesaving treatments that could change lives across the UK," Gyimah said.

Details of the 'life sciences sector deal' agreed between the UK government and industry were published last month. As part of the deal, the government said that £146 million of public funds would be invested in two new national centres – the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre and a Vaccines Development and Manufacturing Centre. That funding, it said, would constitute part of the government's commitment to "support the growth of medicines manufacturing".

The two new centres will complement the existing Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, including its manufacturing centre, and the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre, it said at the time.

The £70m funding announcement came as a new UK 'research and innovation infrastructure roadmap' was outlined.

Chief executive designate of UK Research and Innovation, Sir Mark Walport, said: "I’m very pleased that alongside today’s substantial investment in leading edge healthcare manufacturing technology, we are also starting the process to map out the UK’s nationally and internationally important research and innovation infrastructure. This will enable us to make sure we are getting the absolute best out the infrastructure we already have, and identify what else we will need to stay competitive in the next 10-15 years."