Multi-million pound funding boosts life-enhancing medicines

ID 67120929 © Tibor Ďuriš |

Companies in Northumberland, Oxford and London will adopt new digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to support the manufacture of next-generation medicines and treatments

The £4.3 million funding is set to streamlime the production of medicines and treatments, including those used to treat blood cancers and inherited disorders.

Life Sciences Minister Lord Henley said: “New technology can help us live longer, healthier lives and the new projects announced today will improve the speed and accuracy with which medicines get to the people that need them.

“Advances in technology can help us address the challenges that an ageing society presents and we are backing the technologies of tomorrow in our modern Industrial Strategy, with the biggest increase in public research and development investment in UK history.”

The challenge hopes to place the UK as a leader with greater capacity for manufacture of safe, affordable and effective therapies.

The 3 individual projects are:

  • Arc Trinova in Northumberland will use new technologies to speed up the process of the production of patient specific medicines; it is currently a timely process dispensing individual doses from bulk because of the careful handling, labelling and batch release processes
  • Oxford Biomedica will look to dramatically reduce the supply time for manufacturing by using a new digital and robotics framework to increase capacity, reduce waste and cut costs
  • Autolus Ltd in London will look to avoid mix-ups of complex medicines on the supply chain by developing a computer based system that will constantly monitor the operation, making adjustments to timing, coordination and production where necessary, improving the efficiency of the whole system and working at a pace that human operators cannot imitate

Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair, Innovate UK for UKRI, said:

“The projects announced today will bring real benefits to patients and boost the knowledge economy as part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy. This is vital for the UK as a global leader in the development of advanced therapies and medicine manufacturing.”

One year on from the launch of the Industrial Strategy, this £7.3 million investment is the latest commitment from the £180 million Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) dedicated to leading-edge Medicines Manufacturing.


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