News story

Making viral vectors for advanced therapies: apply for funding

Businesses can apply for a share of £16 million for manufacturing viral vectors for cell and gene therapy - part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Bottles on a pharmaceutical production line

Innovate UK has up to £16 million to invest in capital projects that support the growth of manufacturing capacity for viral vectors used in cell and gene therapies.

Commercial opportunities in advanced therapies

Advanced therapy medicinal products are emerging medicines that use cells, genes or engineered tissues to treat patients.

These therapies usually involve delivery of the treatment by a virus. The therapeutic gene is carried in a viral vector.

It is estimated that the global market for regenerative medicine and cell therapies could be more than $67 billion by 2020 and for gene therapy $11 billion by 2025. While the UK is at the forefront of research into these new therapies, there is a shortage of capacity for making viral vectors. We need to act to take advantage of the commercial opportunities.

The funding for this competition is under the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to develop first-of-a-kind technologies for the manufacture of medicines.

Encouraging public and private partnerships

Funding in this competition is for capital investment in equipment that can be used for making viral vectors. This can include refurbishment.

Projects must:

  • advance UK ability to produce viral vectors for use in advanced therapies
  • encourage partnerships between public and private organisations and maximise further investment

Successful projects are likely to include ones that:

  • create infrastructure that fast-tracks research, development, production and commercialisation of viral vectors
  • increase UK commercial capacity
  • increase competitiveness of the lead business

Competition information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for registration is midday on 8 November 2017
  • projects must be led by a business with a viral vector manufacturing facility, working alone or with partners
  • we expect projects will range in size from total costs of £2 million to £6 million
  • businesses can attract up to 50% of their project costs
Published 23 October 2017