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J&J launches diabetes research fund in UK

Johnson & Johnson is launching a USD 1m fund exclusively available to companies in the UK to accelerate research into diagnosis and management of diabetes and related illnesses

US-based pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is launching a GBP 500,000 (USD 1m) fund exclusively available to companies in the UK to accelerate research into diagnosis and management of diabetes and related illnesses.

J&J says the project will stimulate R&D in the south-east region which has the highest concentration of health technology companies in the UK, with about 600 groups providing one-third of the sector's jobs nationwide.

The region was selected because about 30 per cent of the UK's life science R&D is performed in the south-east, which also contains the headquarters of nine of the world's ten leading life sciences companies and the top 12 global pharmaceuticals companies.

David Parry, CEO of South East Health Technologies Alliance, said: "There has been a lot of interest from other large pharmaceutical companies in this sector and we fully expect to see further funds announced over the coming months and years."

The fund, which is the first of its kind, has taken eight months to launch due to legal issues regarding the ownership of intellectual property rights to any discovered treatment. It is being financed by Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, a J&J company, as well as the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Office of Science and Technology in conjunction with SEHTA, Finance South East and the South East England Development Agency.

The fund is only open to small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes, although academic institutions from other regions in the UK will be able to apply.

Companies wanting to apply for an award must register by 5 October 2008, with a deadline for full proposals of 17 November. J&J says the fund may offer two awards of GBP 125,000 (USD 251,645), two for GBP 75,000 (USD 150,987) and four for GBP 10,000 (USD 20,132).

4th September 2007

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