UK medical innovations awarded £18m accelerator fund



Twelve promising new treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies being developed by UK researchers will benefit from a cash injection totalling £18 million under the eighth round of the Biomedical Catalyst fund.

The programme, which is jointly run by the Medical Research Council and the Government’s Innovate UK, supports UK academics and small to medium-sized businesses striving to take their research from discovery through to commercialisation.

Included in this round is: £759,000 for development of a device by Glasgow-based Ohmedics that patients can use at home to monitor for lung infections caused by bacteria and fungi; £900,898 for a wound dressing being developed by the University of Bath that gives a quick and clear visual indication of the presence of key infection-causing bacteria; and nearly £1.9 million for MISSION Therapeutics’ small molecule inhibitor with potential to be developed for treating soft tissue sarcomas and other cancers.

The largest single award of £5.5 million is going to University College London to help fund a Phase I/IIa clinical trial of a humanised monoclonal antibody to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, firstly in patients who are no longer responsive to standard treatment and later in newly diagnosed patients.

Researchers at King’s College London are being handed £2.9 million to accelerate their work with the NIHR Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre to develop a cure for Crohn’s disease. The team are the first in the world to trial a personalised treatment using T-cell therapy.

Of the £18 million available in this round of the BMC fund, the MRC is contributing £13 and Innovate UK £5 million, to help accelerate the progress of these promising medical innovations.

“By providing early support to these latest treatment and diagnosis developments, we are not only going to potentially help improve or save lives, we are helping businesses grow and boost the UK’s productivity,” noted Minister for Life Sciences George Freeman.

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