25.05.2012 - With the aim to maintain its status one of the global leading life sciences nations, the UK has set up a large funding initiative.
London – Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, announced that £250M has been allocated for the first phase of several five year strategic investment programmes. This includes 26 strategic science programmes and 14 key national research capabilities, to be delivered by eight of the UK's world-leading bioscience research institutes and their university partners. The process will be led by Britain's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Commenting on the funding, Willetts said: "This investment will sustain excellent science at some of the UK's leading institutes and universities. This will drive growth, support highly skilled jobs and keep the UK at the very forefront of bioscience, with benefits ranging from healthcare to energy and global food security." The plan is thought to help the UK to meet challenges such as sustainably feeding the growing world population, finding alternatives to dwindling fossil fuels and supporting an ageing society to remain healthy for longer.
The Minister made the announcement in a speech during a visit at the Babraham Research Campus. The campus, a BBSRC National Research and Innovation Campus, is one of the privileged institutes and will receive £37M. Others are the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University (£13M), the Genome Analysis Centre in Norwich (£19M), the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh (£23M), the Institute for Animal Health in Pirbright (£38M), the Institute of Food Research in Norwich (£29M), the John Innes Centre in Norwich (£42M) and the Rothamsted Research in Harpenden (£41M).
The initiative complements a funding programme aimed to boost translational medicine, that was announced in April.
26.05.2016 BigDNA relaunches as Iceni Pharmaceuticals with the aim to develop repurposed and reformulated cancer therapies. First order of business: repurpose Merck Serono’s cilengitide as a multiple myeloma treatment.
24.05.2016 One of the pioneering companies developing pharmaceuticals and diagnostics based on the gut microbiome, Enterome Bioscience, has raised €14.5m in a Series C financing round. Among the investors were Seventure and Lundbeckfond as well as Nestlé.
20.05.2016 The long awaited global review on antimicrobial resistance by economist Lord Jim O’Neill has been published. It sets out an action plan to defeat superbugs with a huge awareness campaign and rapid diagnostics to be used before antibiotics are prescribed.
18.05.2016 Bayer is deepening its involvement in CRISPR with a licensing agreement for genome editing patents. Irish partner ERS Genomics holds the rights to the CRISPR/Cas9 tech from Emmanuelle Charpentier, one of the inventors.
11.05.2016 Newly spun out company OxStem has raised £16.9m (€21.5m) to develop regenerative meds for the treatment of age-related disease. It is the largest financing for an Oxford spin-out – or any UK academic spin-out – to date.
09.05.2016 Swiss Genentech partner AC Immune has raised CHF42.7m (€38.6m) in order to advance its therapeutic and diagnostic product pipeline in Alzheimer’s disease. The news follows a recently announced R&D collaboration with Biogen.
04.05.2016 Barcelona-based epigenetics expert Oryzon Genomics has closed a debt funding round of €10.5m, bringing the total money raised since last year to €27m. The funds will serve to advance the company’s two LSD1 inhibitors in cancer and neurodegeneration.
03.05.2016 Ipsen is strengthening its ties to long-time development partner Oncodesign, a Dijon-based cancer treatment biotech. The French pharma is handing over the pre-clinical pharmacology for its oncology research programmes to Oncodesign.