UK government pledges record £800m for medical research

Will include funding for four new biomedical research units specialising in dementia

The UK government has pledged £800m to boost medical research and help create new treatments and care for patients.

The money, the UK's largest ever investment in early stage medical research, will be spent over the next five years benefiting patients with cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

It comes from a £4bn fund for medical research announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Some of the £800m will fund four new biomedical research units specialising in dementia.

The research will be carried out through NHS and university partnerships managed by the National Institute for Health Research.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: ‘This unprecedented investment into the development of innovative medicines and treatments will have a huge impact on the care and services patients receive and help develop the modern, world-class health service patients' deserve.

‘A strong competitive science and research base is a crucial part of securing sustainable economic growth and creating jobs of the future, and we have some of the best scientists and facilities in the world.

‘This investment will help ensure we continue to be at the cutting edge.’

Sir John Bell, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: ‘The NHS in England has become one of the best environments in the world for undertaking cutting edge translational research.

‘This is creating real opportunities for improving the health of patients, as well as positioning the UK as a preferred site for clinical development by the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

‘The biomedical research centres and units are an excellent example of this investment and have transformed the relationship between hospitals and the research community.’