UK Launches Innovative Medicines and MedTech Review

The UK government has announced an innovative medicines review and increased funding for the life sciences sector.

The Innovative Medicines and MedTech Review has been created to see how new approaches to the development of drugs, diagnostics and devices, “based on precision medicine and emerging technologies, could speed up access to innovative products for NHS patients.”

The review will analyse how increased collaboration between companies, regulatory bodies and evaluation bodies, such as NICE, could ensure medicines “can be assessed more quickly, using better data.”

The review will examine how charities and patient groups can play a greater role to improving access and what more can be done to “promote the rapid adoption of important medical innovations into clinical practice.”

It takes into consideration changes in the healthcare environment, including the growth of personalised medicines for specific variations of diseases.

The plan is part of a £3.5bn investment in the industry that is expected to create around 11,000 new jobs, according to the UK minister for life sciences, George Freeman, who commented that “NHS leadership in health research is attracting new investment” “generating the health and wealth we need to be a modern economy.”

Freeman added that “by revolutionising the way in which we look at getting medicines and devices into the NHS we will make sure that this country is the best place in the world for 21st century medical innovation.”

The launch of the review came as medtech organisation, BD, announced that they are investing £21 million in Plymouth, which is expected to create 40 new jobs.

Meanwhile Merck & Co unveiled plans to spend a minimum of £42 million in UK life sciences over the next three years. Merck & Co is creating a new licensing hub in London, expanding research at its Hertfordshire headquarters and funding research in oncology and dementia.

Biomedical Catalyst Awards

The latest rounds of Biomedical Catalyst awards, to support small-to-medium enterprises and academic-led projects with commercial potential, have also been announced, with additional funding of just over £15 million by Innovate UK across 16 projects. The Medical Research Council has also awarded over £15 million to 13 academic-led projects at UK universities.

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