UK biotechs win Biomedical Catalyst funding of almost £100m

Thirty-three UK companies have received business-led awards

UK biotechnology companies, including Autifony Therapeutics, Biosceptre UK, C4X Discovery, Mission Therapeutics and Oxford BioMedica, are among the 33 companies who have received business-led awards under the Biomedical Catalyst, analysis by the BioIndustry Association shows.

Almost £100m in business-led research by the Technology Strategy Board and approximately £70m in academic-led research by the Medical Research Council has been invested in the life sciences sector by the scheme. It has already leveraged a further £97m of private finance into the sector, with more to come.

The latest Biomedical Catalyst awards, announced by David Willetts MP, Minister for Science and Universities, represent a new £48m investment in biomedical research. They represent Round 4 early and late stage studies and Round 5 feasibility studies, as well as further Round 3 academic-led awards.

London-based Autifony Therapeutics will work with the University of Nottingham on a £2.2m project to progress a drug for tinnitus towards a Phase IIa clinical trial.

Biosceptre UK and Mission Therapeutics in Cambridge have each been awarded almost £150,000. Biosceptre for its work on novel therapeutic antibodies targeting cancer cell protein markers, and Mission Therapeutics to investigate the feasibility of the development of desumoylating enzyme inhibitors for the treatment of drug-resistant cancers.

Meanwhile C4X Discovery in Manchester will use just under £150,000 to investigate the feasibility of small molecules for the treatment of Type-2 diabetes and Oxford BioMedica will use its award of £2.2m to fund a Phase I/II trial of its 'once-only' gene therapy OXB-102 to treat individuals with Parkinson's disease from its Oxford headquarters.

Steve Bates, Chief Executive of the BIA, said: 'The Biomedical Catalyst is having a significant impact on the sector and the development of innovative new therapies for patients. Thanks to these awards combined with private capital, ground-breaking research in fields such as cancer therapeutics and illnesses such as Parkinson's disease and tinnitus is able to progress or accelerate more rapidly.'

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