1.3 billion industry/government investment in UK economy and new partnership driving early disease detection

Office For Life Sciences

December 5
00:15 2018

  • life-saving early disease detection technology to be developed by new partnership between government and industry using artificial intelligence (AI) to develop the next generation of treatments, including a first-of-its-kind national health programme
  • the second Life Sciences Sector Deal, with industry investment from 10 companies, will support healthcare innovation and back businesses to create high-paid, high-quality jobs as part of the governments modern Industrial Strategy
  • the deal signals a vote of confidence in UK industry, with global biopharmaceutical company UCB investing around 1 billion in research and development, including in a new state-of-the-art facility

Tens of thousands of lives could be saved by pioneering research to detect deadly diseases before symptoms even appear, thanks to a new collaboration between the government and the Life Sciences Industry. The deal will also announce that global biopharmaceutical company UCB is investing 1 billion in research and development, including in a new state-of-the-art facility, continuing the UKs reputation as a world leading base for global life sciences research and industry.

The programme, backed by up to 79 million of government funding, will study 5 million healthy people to develop new diagnostic tests using AI and is part of the governments Life Sciences Sector Deal 2, announced today by Businesses Secretary Greg Clark and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

The deal, which brings together 10 companies and is backed by wide range of organisations from across the sector, includes more than 1.3 billion of investment between the public and private sectors. It ensures the UK remains in pole position in the treatments of today, while creating the industries and treatments of the future such as genomics and AI-powered diagnosis.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

From the first vaccine to the discovery of DNA, the UK has always been at the forefront of medical endeavour and healthcare innovations. That is why we are building on our unique strengths by placing life sciences at the centre of our modern Industrial Strategy, backed by the biggest increase in public research and development investment in UK history.

This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action as we work hand in hand with industry to ensure the UK remains the go-to destination for launching new businesses, new discoveries and treatments to benefit health around the world.

The announcement of UCBs investment in new research and development is a clear vote of confidence in UK life sciences research base and business.

The programme Accelerating Detection of Disease will be led by Professor Sir John Bell and brings together the NHS, industry and leading charities including Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and Alzheimers Research UK. It will be the largest ever study of its kind collecting such a range of data from healthy volunteers over years. This will help deliver the Early Diagnosis Mission a key part of the Industrial Strategys AI and Data Grand Challenge. Businesses will be able to access this funding through UKRI managed competitions.

Researchers will study how the groups health changes, identifying common characteristics to understand how and why diseases develop. The ambition is to empower everyone to understand their risk of developing diseases and take steps to remain healthy for longer. The project will attract investment from global life science companies seeking to develop new diagnostic tools and treatments.

It is estimated that if late stage diagnosis were halved across bowel, ovary, prostate and lung cancer, over 55,500 more people would be diagnosed at an early stage, potentially resulting in 22,500 fewer deaths per year within 5 years of diagnosis.

In a meeting with industry leaders at No10, the Business Secretary announced that as part of the Sector Deal a new 150-200 million research and development facility of global biopharmaceutical company UCB will be built in the UK as part of a total investment of around 1 billion over the next 5 years. The transition to this state-of-the-art facility will support around 650 jobs and further boost the UKs reputation for developing world-leading medical treatments and technologies.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

I want the UK to have the most advanced health and care system on the planet. Technology and artificial intelligence have the potential to revolutionise healthcare by unlocking the next generation of treatments, diagnosing diseases before symptoms appear and helping patients take greater control of their own health.

Our world-leading plans to map 100,000 genomes is just one example of how innovation can deliver life-changing results for patients and we want to build on its success to provide patients with truly personalised care.

Jean-Christophe Tellier, Chief Executive Officer at UCB, said:

At UCB, we are proud of our heritage in the UK and I am very pleased to announce our planned investment to support the construction of a major R&D hub in the UK, which will enable us to build upon our numerous active collaborations with UK universities, biotechs and medical research charities, and continue our successful track record of bringing innovative medicines discovered in the UK to patients globally

Access to world class talent remains vital to R&D and we therefore look forward to working closely with government to support the full implementation of Sir John Bells Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, and importantly, to ensure that patients in the UK have quicker access to the innovative medicines researched and developed here.

Professor Sir John Bell said:

This Sector Deal is another major step forward for the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy in the UK. It has been hugely enabled by government and will initiate new projects that will be a magnet for further investment.

Together, industry, charities, government and the NHS can tackle some of the major challenges to healthcare systems, including ageing and early diagnostics and, in doing so, can grow the economy and demonstrate what a modern Industrial Strategy looks like in action.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox MP said:

The UK remains the leading destination for life sciences inward investment in Europe, second only to the US globally. Major global companies continue to commit to the UK as an investment and operating location.

At home we are also nurturing the next crop of global businesses and future exporters, such as the companies in our thriving cell and gene therapy industry. Last year the UK exported around 30 billion in life sciences products - there is worldwide demand for our innovative products and our excellent services.

As an international economic department, our role is to promote the UK abroad, capitalising on the demand for our goods and services and drive investment into our industries. Our team of HM Trade Commissioners and overseas network are based in 108 markets, providing a vital link for businesses as we seek to make the most of opportunities presented by leaving the European Union.

Other new announcements as part of the Life Sciences Sector Deal include:

  • A further 30 million investment in the UK by healthcare company Roche, including a 20 million investment over 3 years in a precision cancer research partnership with the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester. This will use cutting-edge genomic technology and big data to accelerate the next generation of digital clinical trials for rare cancers, making the UK a leading global hub for rare cancer trials, potentially benefiting nearly 5,000 patients annually
  • Measures to further strengthen the UK environment for clinical research, including through IQVIA investing 24 million facilitated by the National Institute for Health Research in a Prime Site for clinical trials across the North of England, and IQVIA and Genomics England announcing a new 20 million partnership to enable more efficient drug research and support accelerated discovery of personalised medicines for NHS patients
  • Over 80 million of investment in the UK from 5 rapidly growing cell and gene therapy companies. The majority of this investment will be in cutting-edge manufacturing facilities, building on the government investment in advanced therapies manufacturing made in last years Sector Deal. Autolus have planned to invest a further 50 million to expand its UK presence, including a new global headquarters with laboratories in White City. Oxford BioMedica, Cobra Biologics, and Roslin CT are planning inv

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