We are faced with the challenge of manufacturing many different types of medicines, and getting the right drugs and treatments to individual patients when they need them.
Government will invest £181 million to speed up access to new medicines and drugs and improve healthcare. It will establish new facilities and support research and innovation projects that accelerate the development and manufacture of vital advanced therapies, medicines and vaccines.
The fund is estimated to return £1 billion to the UK economy, support high-value, highly-skilled manufacturing and increase productivity.
A network of 3 advanced therapies treatment centres will help to improve how we manufacture, prepare and use advanced therapies to treat patients in the UK.
£21 million is being invested to establish the centres. They will create best practice, implement new systems and infrastructure, and build UK capabilities to speed and scale up the use of these therapies with a large number of patients.
The centres are a joint collaboration between hospitals, therapeutics development businesses and the supply chain. They will span the north of England and Scotland, Manchester, and the Midlands and Wales.
Innovate UK will run funding competitions for businesses to carry out feasibility studies or industrial research and development projects in medicines manufacturing.
Any UK business or research and technology organisation may be eligible to apply to lead a project. You will need to be based in the UK, carry out your project and exploit the results here.
Depending on the competition scope, you may work with other businesses, academic institutions, charities, public sector or research and technology organisations. Projects must involve at least one small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).
Projects could look at:
improving the commercial viability of manufacturing processes
developing methods to scale-up production
increasing the yield of active ingredients for medicines
As the carriers of gene and cell therapy treatments, viral vectors are vital for advanced therapies.
To address the shortage of capacity we have for making viral vectors in the UK, £5.6 million is being invested in projects that support their manufacture and production. These projects will build the UK’s capacity to commercially manufacture viral vectors that can be used in the treatment of human disease.
The digital health technology catalyst is a £35 million fund over 4 years.
Innovate UK will run funding competitions for projects to develop new digital technology products for healthcare. These should help support patient access, create personalised and more targeted treatments and improve outcomes.
An SME must lead a project. You will need to work with at least one other business, academic institution, charity, public sector or research and technology organisation, and focus on industrial research or experimental development.
You need to be based in the UK, carry out your project and exploit the results here.
improve health and wellbeing
transform care and improve quality and choice
better control costs
We are looking to fund projects that span a range of technologies including:
Funded projects include digital therapeutics start-up, Neurofenix partnering with Brunel University London to develop Gameball. This is a digital game with a handheld controller that patients with neurological impairments can use as part of their rehabilitation.
Virtual, augmented and mixed reality company, FundamentalVR will lead another project to develop a surgical training platform. It will allow surgeons to use virtual reality to learn procedures before they operate on human tissue.