The government has published a new UK Life Sciences Vision setting out a 10-year strategy. Using the sector’s remarkable successes during COVID-19 as a blueprint, it aims to speed up the delivery of innovations to patients.
Co-developed with industry experts and business leaders, the vision outlines seven key missions on which the government, industry, the NHS, universities and charities will collaborate to solve some of our generation’s biggest healthcare issues.
The missions are:
- Accelerating research on new dementia treatments
- Enabling earlier diagnosis and treatment of disease, including cancer vaccines and other immune therapies
- Supporting British vaccine research, development and manufacturing
- Treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease
- Reducing incidence of and deaths from respiratory disease in the UK and worldwide
- Researching the biology of ageing
- Improving understanding and treatment of mental illness, including redefining conditions
Britain’s life sciences sector has been at the heart of the battle against COVID-19, from the UK Vaccines Taskforce and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to the RECOVERY trial, a world-leading project to identify safe and effective medications.
The Vision aims to emulate these successes, cutting red tape and leveraging private expertise to solve challenges at speed and at risk. It will take full advantage of new regulatory freedoms offered by Brexit, and is the first sectoral publication that builds on the government’s Plan for Growth, which aims to “level up” the UK into a world-leading centre for innovation and jobs of the future.
The Vision aims to cultivate a UK business environment where life sciences companies can access the funding they need to grow and innovate, are regulated in an efficient and agile way, and are incentivised to make and sell their products in the UK.
The government is putting its money where its mouth is with the simultaneous launch of a new £200 million Life Sciences Investment Programme, which has increased funding available for promising UK life sciences companies to £1 billion.
The life sciences sector employs over 250,000 people and generates an £80 billion turnover every year. One of the Vision’s key themes is supporting growth in the sector, attracting more investment and creating highly skilled jobs throughout the UK.