02 March 2022
A multi-million pound investment in medical research and development and the manufacturing of new drugs, devices and diagnostics has been announced by the Government.
The Department of Health said the £260 million investment will mean that patients can benefit from “cutting edge medical advances and treatments”.
The funding will help in various ways, including making it quicker and easier to set up and run clinical trials, therefore ensuring the UK is at the forefront of life sciences research, the department said.
Up to £200 million will be invested to help with better access to NHS data through what the Government called Trusted Research Environments and digital clinical trial services.
It said this will make key data more securely and quickly available for research, while maintaining privacy, and help the NHS to deliver new life-saving treatments to patients faster.
The other £60 million is intended to go towards manufacturing investments by companies involved in things such as cell and gene therapies, earlier diagnostic technologies and medical devices.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the money would be a boost to manufacturing and research in medicine.
He 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 it creates 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.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “NHS data is making the whole world safer and healthier and has been vital in saving thousands of lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This funding will ensure the UK can continue to help researchers access NHS data securely so patients can benefit from more innovative treatments faster.
“I’m absolutely committed to boosting the UK’s position as a world-leading research centre, transforming our health service and ensuring the NHS continues to deliver excellent care for patients.”
Brian Henry, chair of The Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP), said the Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund “will help boost the UK’s attractiveness as a place for companies to invest in the latest technology, creating jobs and growth and making the UK a manufacturing as well as a science superpower”.
Dr Ben Goldacre, director of the DataLab at the University of Oxford, said: “This funding announced today will drive forward the longstanding ambition to broaden access to NHS data while preserving patient privacy, by building secure Trusted Research Environments that support modern, transparent, efficient approaches to data analysis.”