Life Sciences Industrial Strategy outlines vision for future of healthcare
In an independent review released today, geneticist Sir John Bell outlined details of the UK government’s plan to invest £160 million into the life sciences.
Sir John’s report outlined
- the industry’s vision for how the government can boost life sciences businesses across the sector
- share industry proposals to increase growth and investment in the life sciences
- call for increased funding for basic science
- encouraging NHS collaboration through early access to new drugs and to put more investment in skills across the NHS and life sciences
- offset concerns about the possible negative effects of Brexit on the science industry
This report, known as the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, launched at the University of Birmingham. This strategy emphasized ‘putting the UK in a world-leading position to take advantage of the health technology trends of the next 20 years through the establishment of the Health Advanced Research Programme.’
This Life Sciences Industrial Strategy focused on five themes: science, growth, NHS, data and skills, with plans to improve UK strength in each area. This strategy is also expected to recommend the formation of the Healthcare Advanced Research Program (HARP), which will provide long-term UK-based projects and bring about the collaboration of industries, charities and NHS to transform healthcare for the next twenty years.
Business Secretary Greg Clark detailed how the funding will support the creation of centres for medicine manufacturing technologies, vaccine research and development, expanding a cell and gene therapy centre and building a centre support unit, as well the establishment of a network for delivering cell and gene therapies.
An additional £14 million has been pledged by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to support medical technology research. The funding will be available to associations, companies and academic institutions operating in five priority areas, and will be awarded in a bidding process organised by Innovate UK.
Mr Hunt said, “The UK has always been at the forefront of scientific excellence. From the discovery of antibiotics to our world-leading 100,000 Genomes project, we have a proud history of medical breakthrough and innovation.
I want patients to continue to be at the front of the queue for the best treatments available... a strong and growing life sciences sector ensures this, particularly as we negotiate our exit from the EU."
The IBMS comments
IBMS Deputy CEO Sarah May commented, “The Institute of Biomedical Science welcomes the government’s recognition that investment in life sciences and diagnostics is key to ensuring that patients have access to the best treatments available.
We will continue to press the message that proper investment in research and laboratory diagnostic services is the key to delivering better diagnosis and treatment.
The UK has a wealth of good scientists graduating from our accredited biomedical science degrees that will be undertaking the research, developing treatment trials, using the new technologies and sharing best practice that will shape the delivery of our health and social care system.”