Life science, via Istock

Life sciences sector is the recipient of a £650m ‘war-chest’ to bolster economic growth

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, has announced a vital life sciences growth package to bolster the economy, collating 10 different policies to improve commercial clinical trials, scientific innovations, biological data bank capacity enhancements and the incentivisation of pension schemes to invest in emerging science and technology firms.

This package was revealed to the UK’s Life Science Council yesterday morning, being welcomed by the collected CEOs of global life sciences companies and industry representatives.

Enhancements to clinical trials will have £121m allocated to ensure that developments afford patients with the chance to get their hands on new medicines at an advanced rate. A further £250m will go towards the pension scheme investments and up to £48m will facilitate the scientific innovations that will help prepare us for future mass scale health emergencies.

A further aspect of this announcement outlines plans to relaunch the Academic Health Science Network as Health Innovation Networks, which will work to bring the NHS, local communities, charities, academia, and industry together in a collaborative effort innovate and share working methods.

Across the UK, the Life Sciences sector is a major source of employment and economic value, bringing in over £96bn to the UK economy in 2021 alone, representing a significant increase of 9% from that of the previous year. The levels of investment announced by the chancellor will help to ensure this sector continues to drive growth and innovation, whilst promoting talent upskilling for the nations workforce.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said:

“Our Life Sciences sector employs over 280,000 people, makes £94 billion for the UK each year, and produced the world’s first covid vaccine.

“These are businesses that are growing our economy while having much wider benefits for our health – and this multi-million-pound investment will help them go even further.”

A major development from this announcement is that Sterling Pharma Solutions are the newest recipient of ley funding through the Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund, the first of four grants to be allocated accompanied by the Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund (MDMTF).

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:

“This investment is another significant step in harnessing UK innovation to help cut waiting lists - one of the government’s five priorities - and build a stronger NHS.

“We will take forward Lord O’Shaughnessy’s recommendations to speed up the delivery of clinical trials and boost patient involvement in research, so people getting NHS care can benefit from cutting-edge treatments faster, supported by £121 million in government funding.

“We’re also accelerating research into mental health, backed by over £42 million of investment in clinical research centres across the UK – including in Birmingham and Liverpool - to improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis and increase the use of technology for treatment.”

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