Government funding will help bridge the drug translation gap
02 August 2012
The Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry has welcomed the government's announcement of £29million for life sciences research, with medicines research in the UK remodeling itself as 'big pharma' R&D downsizes.
Dr Robert Parker said the £10m that will support academics and SMEs in exploring the market potential of scientific ideas, and the £19m to create four e-health research centres, are important stepping stones across the divide to the new pharmaceutical landscape.
He added it was important to recognise the £10m is not new funding, rather that is from the £180m biomedical catalyst fund announced last year, while the Medical Research Council and a consortium of 10 UK Government and charity research funders will invest £19m to establish the e-health centres in London, Manchester, Dundee and Swansea.
Dr Parker said: "I would have liked to have seen more news about how to turn the electronic patient data into new medicines that will contribute to patient health thereby improving the wealth of the UK.
"It is good to hear David Cameron talking up life sciences - the 'jewel in the UK economic crown' as the prime minister said last year - and the Royal Society of Chemistry, in partnership with other learned societies and professional bodies, will continue to push for greater funding in these areas in the run-up to next year's expected Comprehensive Spending Review.
"Capitalising on the UK's drug discovery expertise is an essential step in translating good science into great medicines of the future."
The Royal Society of Chemistry along with partner learned societies have been developing a Healthcare Innovation plan which recommends a set of measures to contribute to the well-being of patients and to help to drive our future economic prosperity.
Dr Parker said: "The RSC and partner societies are proposing a network of therapeutic centres of excellence to be established in the UK. These would build on biology and disease expertise and clinical research excellence while capitalising on the world-leading drug discovery know-how that currently exists.
"Specifically, drug discovery scientists with industry experience would be embedded into the centres to work alongside academic researchers and bring a credible drug discovery perspective that is respected by industry partners. They would help to drive excellent science and training and share a passion for, and commitment to, discovering medicines that have the quality to make a real difference to patients' lives."
Boost for Life Sciences
£29 million for life sciences research announced at British Business Embassy
External links will open in a new browser window
21 June 2011
An RSC position statement on the current state of the pharmaceutical industry and recommendations for the future of the sector
Contact and Further Information
Media Relations Executive
Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF
Tel: +44 (0)1223 432652
Fax: +44 (0)1223 426594