London – British Prime Minister David Cameron is trying to come to the rescue of Britain’s embattled biopharmaceutical industry. He has earmarked €210m to support a “biomedical catalyst fund” to back early-stage academic and biotech R&D in small and medium-sized development firms. Cameron announced the fund in a speech on December 5th, saying the package of reforms was designed to make the country more attractive to big pharmaceuticals companies. Apart from the money, the fund will include two main measures:
the first involves the quicker use of experimental drugs on patients. In an “early access scheme”, seriously ill patients could use new drugs up to a year before they are fully licensed. In the second, plans are to allow biopharma companies access to patient records and other information from the country’s National Health Service.