UK to invest $345M to bolster life science research, manufacturing capabilities
On the heels of investing roughly $214 million last week to CEPI’s pandemic preparedness plan, the UK is pivoting — and using $345 million to bolster research and manufacturing capabilities in the country.
The UK government announced the investment earlier this week, investing up to $265 million into health research — led by the NHS — into diagnostics and treatments through new platforms and clinical research services that emphasize privacy. This would enable research to better access NHS data, the UK said earlier this week, making data more securely and quickly available for research.
This is part of the funding the UK government had laid out earlier last year in its “Life Sciences Vision,” pledging more than $1 billion to build the country’s life sciences industry based around seven key priorities — including dementia, early diagnosis and treatment, vaccines, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, aging, and mental health.
Another $80 million will be used on expanding life sciences manufacturing in the country — focusing on everything from cell and gene therapies to diagnostics and medical devices. Manufacturing investments will be divvied out through a new manufacturing fund: Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF).
“NHS data is making the whole world safer and healthier and has been vital in saving thousands of lives during the COVID-19 pandemic,” UK’s health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said in a statement. “This funding will ensure the UK can continue to help researchers access NHS data securely so patients can benefit from more innovative treatments faster.”
On the other side of the Atlantic, the US is looking at a similar route. Acting OMB director Shalanda Young asked Congressional leaders in a letter for $18.25 billion to go towards the US’ Covid-19 response, including $1.5 billion in funding to prepare for future variants with a new “next-generation vaccine”, $2 billion for testing and $12.2 billion in obtaining and distributing Covid-19 antivirals, vaccines and monoclonal antibodies.