UK businesses will soon be able to apply for share of £15m to speed up access to medicines

Government has announced the first tranche of its £146m Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to support greater medicine manufacturing

UK start-ups and businesses with innovative solutions to help speed up access to new medicines and treatments and improve public health have now got the opportunity to secure investment from a dedicated £15m funding pot.

Announced by government officials Greg Clark and Jeremy Hunt, the £15m will go towards building on the strength of the country’s biopharmaceutical sector and is part of the government’s wider Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Over the next four years, this fund intends to invest £146m in developing technologies and facilities that will support the manufacture of medicines.

This competition – which opens for submissions on September 4 2017 – is the first challenge to be launched by the fund and will look to award funding to businesses that are improving medicine manufacturing in the following ways:

  • In-process monitoring, control and release testing
  • Maintenance of product-critical quality parameters such as purity, potency and viability
  • Formulation processes
  • Packaging and storage processes
  • Product characterisation
  • Process challenges for increasing the scale of production
  • Process development and transfer for novel medicines
  • Transfer of technology from small-scale manufacturing to a good manufacturing practice (GMP) manufacturing facility
  • Lowering of the cost of medicines
  • Increasing the yield of active ingredient
  • Increasing the speed of production cycle
  • Methods to increase the flexibility of established manufacturing facilities
  • Adaptation of processes from batch to continuous production

The challenge will fund up to 70% of the cost of projects from businesses, and research organisations, with the caveat that total project costs should either range in size from £50,000 to £100,000 and last up to one year for feasibility studies, or range up to £2m and last up to three years for industrial research and development. Projects must start by February 1 2018.

You can apply for the funding here once entries open on September 4. The deadline for entries will be November 1.