Doping for UK's biomedicine
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Doping for UK's biomedicine

03.08.2012 - The UK government has pledged to invest additional €49m (£39m) in the country's life science research.

The Biomedical Catalyst Fund commited €12,6m (£10m) to 14 universities and 18 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to explore the market potential of early-stage ideas. Each of the universities received up to £750k, while each company received up to £150k to propel their projects. These are the first investments for the three-year, €227m (£180m) fund. It is part of the Strategy for Life Science unveiled by UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron December last year to foster the domestic life science industry. The grants will fund about 150 pilot projects, allowing academic researchers to begin the process of turning a bright idea into a viable proposition. Universities have control over allocating the funding internally, allowing them to respond rapidly to new opportunities and have the flexibility to pursue the most promising translational research opportunities.

In an effort to establish four e-health centres of excellence in London, Manchester, Dundee and Swansea, UK’s Medical Research Council has teamed up with a consortium of ten public and charity research funders. The centres will focus on conditions including cancer, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The researchers working at these centers will link information in NHS health records with other forms of research and routinely-collected data to improve patient care and public health.

Only days ago, Cameron unveiled plans to converse the Olympic drug testing laboratories located in Harlow into a phenome research centre after the Games are complete. The concept of the phenome encapsulates all of an individual’s traits, which are the outcome of a continuous interplay between their genes and the environment. It will be funded by €12,6m (£10m) investments over five years by both the Medical Research Council and the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research. Two companies who make scientific instruments - Bruker, and Waters Corporation – will invest additional €25,2m (£20m). Imperial College and King’s College London will be academic partners in the project.


26.11.2015 Bioeconomy movers and shakers from every corner of the globe met this week at the world’s first Global Bioeconomy Summit in Berlin to discuss, debate and define better ways to ensure the bioeconomy succeeds on an international level.


24.11.2015 After weeks of speculation it is official: US pharma major Pfizer and Irish Botox maker Allergan will merge. With the deal, Pfizer is planning to dodge the high US taxes, causing indignation among US politicians.


23.11.2015 Amidst talk of the IPO window closing and cancelled flotations, diagnostics firms are still striking a chord with investors. Swedish Immunovia and German Curetis are successfully raising public money.


20.11.2015 French Sanofi and British AstraZeneca are giving open innovation a go: The two pharma giants will exchange thousands of compounds – for free.


19.11.2015 French gene editing company Cellectis has granted Servier the rights to bring cancer immunotherapy UCART19 to market. Servier in turn has teamed up with Pfizer to hurry development along.


17.11.2015 The first Italian accelerator specifically for biotech projects has been launched with help from Sofinnova Partners. The plan of BiovelocITA: to help Italy grow into one of Europe’s strongest biotech markets.


13.11.2015 Scientists in Bath, UK, have developed a medical dressing that turns fluorescent green when it detects infection. The researchers hope that the smart burns dressing will help fight antibiotic resistance.


13.11.2015 Out with the old: Roche is discarding four sites with 1,200 staff in an effort to restructure its manufacturing network for small molecules. Instead, a new manufacturing site will be built in Switzerland.


10.11.2015 Algae have many skills, but cancer fighting was not one of them – until now. Researchers from Australia and Germany have genetically engineered diatom algae to accurately deliver chemotherapeutic drugs.


10.11.2015 AstraZeneca has plucked Californian biopharma company ZS Pharma from under Actelion’s nose. The UK company is paying US$2.7bn (€2.5bn) to acquire ZS and its promising hyperkalaemia treatment currently under US regulatory review.


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No liability assumed, Date: 27.11.2015