The Government has announced significant investment in the healthcare and life sciences sectors as part of its strategic aims of “firing up” these sectors. The announcements in the Autumn Statement and from the relevant Government departments, signal an ongoing commitment to life sciences as a key sector for growth.  

We summarise some of the key policy announcements below:

  • A £650 million “Life Sci for Growth” package, which includes headline investments such as:
    • £121 million (both new and existing funding) to improve and speed up commercial clinical trials and access to real-time data with the aim of bringing new medicines to market quicker; forming part of the Government’s commitments in response to the recommendations made by the Lord O’Shaughnessy review, with up to £20 million to launch the first Clinical Trial Delivery Accelerator, focused on dementia;
    • Up to £48 million to deliver scientific innovation and improve UK health security;
    • £154 million from UK Research and Innovation to upgrade capacity of the UK Biobank, set to include development of a new Manchester Science Park with the aim of increasing collaboration between SMEs, industry and academia;
    • £42.7 million for the Mental Health Mission, which will be used to deliver treatments to patients and establish new facilities in Liverpool and Birmingham to support research and innovation in mental health conditions; and
    • Calls for proposals on the Long-Term Investment for Technology and Science (LIFTS) initiative, offering up to £250 million to incentivise pension scheme investments in UK high-growth science and technology companies
  • £520 million set aside for life sciences manufacturing to increase resilience and UK health security against future health emergencies. The funding will be available from 2025 for 5 years and further information on the application process will be published by the Government in due course. 
  • £51 million for the Our Future Health programme towards genotyping their first 1 million participants, supporting the development of better ways to prevent, detect and treat diseases. It is not clear whether this forms part of the £650 million life sciences package above or is a separate funding commitment. 

These investments build on a series of announcements earlier this year focused on delivering the Government’s Life Sciences Vision and reform of the regulatory framework. Please see our latest newsletter for a summary of the key announcements in these areas.

It comes as the Life Sciences Council had it's bi-annual meeting at Downing Street to discuss the progress the Healthcare and Life Sciences sectors are facing  when trying to implement the Life Sciences Vision. While the ambition and rhetoric from Government is clear, issues linking industry with the NHS to drive innovation, and regulatory capacity constraints, are hurdles which still present a challenge. 

If you would like to discuss how these changes might impact your business, please contact our Healthcare team.

This article was written by Laura Tudor and Rory Trust.