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BioIndustry Association Release: Government Funding Boosts Innovative UK Bioscience Companies

11/5/2012 11:28:44 AM

4 November 2012 -- The BIA has warmly welcomed the announcement of the Biomedical Catalyst awards today as a very positive boost to the UK bioscience sector.

Significant private finance has been leveraged to support innovative UK bioscience companies' research and development programmes following the first round of early and late stage BioMedical Catalyst awards announced today.

The detailed announcement, made by the Technology Strategy Board and Medical Research Council, shows that 22 companies have been awarded grants totalling £29.6 million helping to accelerate the development of new medical products and technologies to treat areas of unmet patient need.

Overall, £39 million worth of funding has been announced for thirty two projects leveraging in significant private finance making the total value of the work in excess of £63 million - a significant boost for UK medical research.

The BIA, which represents the UK biotech sector and has been in the forefront of improving access to finance for the sector, warmly welcomed the announcement of the first early and late stage grant awards. The BioMedical Catalyst is leveraging significant additional private finance into R&D projects and de-risking investment in the UK.

Steve Bates, BIA Chief Executive, said:

"This latest announcement of BioMedical Catalyst funding is a very welcome boost for UK bioscience, a key UK export sector. It will support 22 innovative companies researching and developing new treatments and technologies for improved patient benefit. It's great that the UK's excellence in medical research can now move closer to becoming therapies for patients."

"Because angel and other private sector investors understand the rigour of this process and the calibre of the assessors a successful Biomedical Catalyst fund application pays dividends when seeking other forms of investment."

"BIA members found the process quicker and easier than previous government initiatives which makes a difference for time pressed small businesses. We're particularly pleased that more feedback is given during the process as we have suggested."

"I encourage all UK based bioscience companies to consider applying for the next round. Through BIA membership it is quick and simple to discover just how beneficial an application can be"

Dr Sam Williams, Chief Executive of Modern Biosciences, a recipient of an award of up to £1.6 million to support its lead anti-inflammatory programme, OsteoRx, said:

"We are delighted to be offered an award under the BioMedical Catalyst initiative and we are grateful to the Technology Strategy Board for its support. The award enables us to take the OsteoRx programme to a much more advanced stage than might otherwise be possible, thereby increasing the chances of this new treatment reaching patients and achieving eventual commercial success."

For further information, please contact Antonis Papasolomontos, , 020 7630 2188.

BioIndustry Association

Founded over 20 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative enterprises involved in UK bioscience. Members include emerging and more established bioscience companies; pharmaceutical companies; academic, research and philanthropic organisations; and service providers to the bioscience sector. The BIA represents the interests of its members to a broad section of stakeholders, from government and regulators to patient groups and the media. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives. For further information, please go to

The BioMedical Catalyst was announced by the Prime Minister in December 2011 with the launch of the government's Strategy for UK Life Sciences, available on the following link:

The BIA has produced a second updated briefing paper for members and investors. Copies can be obtained by contacting the BIA.

The first awards, under the feasibility category of the scheme, were announced in August.

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