£260mn in funding to support UK clinical research and medicines manufacturing

The UK Government has committed £200mn to support NHS-led diagnostics and treatment research and £60 million to expand life sciences manufacturing.

Idea of research funding - R&D spelt out on counters in front of stacks of coins

The UK Government has announced £260 million in funding to support clinical research and the manufacturing of new drugs, devices and diagnostics.

Two-hundred million pounds of the funding will enable research to better access National Health Service (NHS) data through Trusted Research Environments and digital clinical trial services. A further £60 million will support commercial-scale manufacturing investments by companies at the leading-edge of innovation, from cell and gene therapies to better diagnostic technologies to medical devices.

The larger portion of the investment, committed by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), will make crucial data more securely and quickly available for research, while offering the highest levels of privacy. Additionally, the government said it would help ensure the NHS can deliver new treatments to patients faster, and support more diverse and inclusive clinical research to tackle health inequalities and improve patient care.

The funding for manufacturing investments 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 fund will support the growth of the UK’s world-leading life sciences sector while creating jobs and ensuring the UK continues to be an attractive investment destination.

UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng commented: “The past 2 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 has one of the strongest Medical and Life Sciences industries globally, with a turnover of over £88.9 billion, supporting 268,000 jobs across the country. As set out in the Life Sciences Vision, the government is committed to harnessing the UK’s existing strengths to continue to attract large scale manufacturing and the well-paid job opportunities that come with it.

Today’s manufacturing funding announcement is part of the government’s ongoing commitment to the life sciences sector, with £354 million 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-19 response and potential future health emergencies, among other projects.

Companies awarded funding through the MDMTF, announced for the first time today, include:

  • Ortho Clinicals Diagnostics UK, which will expand its innovative biological diagnostic product lines, at its Pencoed, Wales site
  • Custom Pharmaceuticals Limited, which plans to build a new facility in Brighton that will create capacity to manufacture and develop difficult to handle, high potency medicines for the UK NHS and export biopharmaceuticals market
  • Randox Laboratories, which will build a new large-scale manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland.