News story

Setting up advanced therapy treatment centres: apply for funding

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £30 million as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Drugs being manufactured on a production line

Innovate UK has up to £30 million to invest in a new network of advanced therapies treatment centres set up by businesses, NHS trusts and researchers working together.

Advanced therapies are new and emerging medicines based on genes, cells and tissues. They have potential uses in treating forms of blindness, cancer, heart failure, liver disease, neurological conditions and rare paediatric diseases.

The UK has 62 rapidly growing manufacturers of advanced therapy medicines generating an annual turnover of £156 million, and is in a strong position to take a global lead. New treatment centres would help to commercialise and scale up production of developing therapies.

This competition is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. It announced that £146 million has been set aside over 4 years to develop first-of-a-kind technologies for the manufacture of medicines. These should speed up patient access to new drugs and treatments.

Increasing access to advanced therapies

Innovate UK is looking for proposals that:

  • increase patient access to advanced therapies on a national level
  • establish best practice for the safe and effective delivery of advanced therapies
  • establish best practice for the manufacturing and final preparation of advanced therapies
  • establish robust connected supply chains
  • create systems to allow for traceability and tracking
  • establish best practice for patient follow-up and data capture

The centres will form a network that will be co-ordinated by the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. Successful centres will be eligible for up to £6 million of additional funding in 2018 for projects and activities.

Competition information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 1 November 2017
  • projects can be led by a business, an NHS trust, a hospital, an academic health science network or a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) biomedical research centre
  • projects must involve at least one NHS trust or hospital with an intensive care unit and a track record of working with advanced therapies, one SME, one company developing commercial advanced therapy medicines and one supply chain company
  • we expect total project costs to vary between £6 million and £9 million and for them to last up to 3 years
  • businesses can attract up to 70% of their project costs
Published 2 October 2017