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Gov’t awards £60m to expand life sciences manufacturing
The UK government is providing up to £60m of new funding to support commercial-scale manufacturing investments by companies developing cell and gene therapies, earlier and better diagnostic technologies and medical devices. It comes as part of a £260m commitment to boost healthcare research and manufacturing, with £200m supporting NHS-led health research into diagnostics and treatment.
The manufacturing investments funding will be distributed through the new Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF), following the success of the earlier Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund. The new fund will help support the growth of the UK’s life sciences sector, while also supporting the government’s levelling up agenda by generating highly-skilled jobs across the country and ensuring the UK continues to be an attractive investment destination.
Kwasi Kwarteng, business secretary, said: “The past two years have shown just how important our fantastic medical and life sciences industry is for the UK, not only in dealing with the pandemic, but also for the vital economic opportunities they create throughout the country. By providing £260 million to boost UK medical manufacturing and medical research, we are ensuring the industry has the support it needs to improve patient outcomes and generate high-skilled jobs while building up Britain’s manufacturing base in the process.”
The UK’s medical and life sciences industry generates a turnover of over £88.9bn and supports 268,000 jobs across the country. The pandemic further reinforced the importance of the industry and the need for a resilient UK-based medical manufacturing industry and supply chains, with the UK government investing hundreds of millions of pounds into manufacturing a successful vaccine through the work of the Vaccine Taskforce.
This latest manufacturing funding announcement is part of the government’s ongoing commitment to the life sciences sector, with £354m allocated to life sciences manufacturing through the Global Britain Investment Fund. This has also included funding to strengthen UK vaccine manufacturing resilience for the Covid response and potential future health emergencies, among other projects.
George Freeman, science minister, added: “UK leadership in the discovery of new diagnostics, devices and drugs – from gene therapy to digital stents – is now driving our work in new and advanced manufacturing of medical technologies. Our new Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund will not only help further develop domestic medical manufacturing capabilities and enhance Britain’s ability to respond to future pandemics, but will also help create well-paying, high-skilled jobs across the whole UK – a vital part of our plans for levelling up.”
The Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund is the successor to the Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund (MDMTF). It was also established to help grow and strengthen the UK’s medicines and diagnostics manufacturing industry by encouraging companies to use new technologies, and to build or expand facilities throughout the country.
Companies awarded funding through the MDMTF, include:
• Ortho Clinicals Diagnostics UK, which will expand its innovative biological diagnostic product lines at its Pencoed site in Wales.
• Custom Pharmaceuticals Limited, which plans to build a new facility in Brighton, creating capacity to manufacture and develop difficult to handle, high potency medicines for the NHS and export biopharmaceuticals market.
• Randox Laboratories, which will build a new large-scale manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland.