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UK announces new ten-year Life Sciences Vision to support life sciences sector

UK government has launched a £200m life sciences investment programme to support innovative life sciences companies

The UK government has outlined a new strategy for its life sciences sector, aiming to ‘build on the successes of COVID-19 response’.

The new ten-year Life Sciences Vision, published today, was co-developed with businesses and experts in the field. Its core mission aims to ensure scientific excellence in the UK over the next decade in a bid to enable the NHS to address the ‘most pressing’ health challenges.

Included in the strategy are seven healthcare missions focused on the early prevention, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease. It will also aim to accelerate the development and adoption of new drugs, diagnostics, medical technology and digital tools for a wide array of diseases.

The seven ‘critical’ missions outlined include:

  1. Accelerating the pace of studies into novel dementia treatments
  2. Enabling early diagnosis and treatment, such as immune therapies
  3. Sustaining the UK’s position in vaccine discovery, development and manufacturing
  4. Treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease and its major risk factors
  5. Reducing mortality and morbidity from respiratory disease in the UK and globally
  6. Addressing the underlying biology of ageing
  7. Increasing the understanding of mental health conditions.

In particular, the UK is looking to replicate the successes of its Vaccines Taskforce, while also utilising the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) new position as an independent regulator following UK's departure from the EU.

Another core focus of the Life Sciences Vision is cultivating a ‘business environment’ that benefits UK life sciences firms, by enabling access to finance for innovation and growth.

In support of this mission, the government has launched a £200m life sciences investment programme to support the potential of innovative life sciences companies in the UK.

On top of that, British Patient Capital also recently agreed to collaborate with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, which has committed to invest £800m into the UK life sciences industry under the partnership.

All told, this means that £1bn new funding is now available to boost the UK’s ‘most promising’ life sciences companies.

“The £200m Life Sciences Investment Programme is very welcome and is expected to leverage a further £400m private capital, and has already proved persuasive to attract the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala to invest £800m in UK life sciences,” said Steve Bates, chief executive of the BioIndustry Association (BIA).

“Access to capital to scale at pace in the UK remains the key constraint in the funding landscape for UK life science companies. The Life Sciences Investment Programme alone is not enough to address the scale-up challenge for life sciences but it shows very positive intent from the government that we hope will bring in new UK-based investors into the sector,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

7th July 2021

From: Research

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