£160m funding boost for British life sciences

Investing in the UK life science ecosystem

In a further acknowledgement of how important the £64 billion life sciences sector is to the UK economy and UK health, the Government has announced details of £160 million of funding over four years to bolster the sector.

During a speech at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Translational Medicine on August 30th, the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP; Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS); and Professor Sir John Bell set out proposals for how the UK can continue to capitalise on its strong science base to further build the industry into a globally-unique and internationally competitive life sciences eco-system, supported by collaboration across industry, government, the NHS, academia, and research funders, to deliver health and wealth.

This investment further accelerates the important life science ecosystem in the UK, which already is benefiting from a close collaboration between early-stage venture funds like UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund which aims to invest, validate and grow companies emerging from the UK’s research base.

Oliver Sexton, UKI2S Investment Director, commented “As an early-stage investor in life science companies, particularly those making use of cell and gene therapy, UKI2S is looking forward to greater UK commercial capacity and the opportunity to help develop the UK research base into innovative global therapies. The life science investment strategy is expected to accelerate novel treatments and help take early-stage ideas to the next level of development.”

The Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, released in January 2017, identified life sciences as one of five of the UK’s leading sectors that are poised to improve living standards and economic growth. The UK life science sector includes more than 5,000 companies and employs almost 235,000 people.