Related Links


The vision for a new decade: UK life sciences

Hard on the heels of good news for life sciences from the Spending Review and £50 million from the Technology Strategy Board for stratified medicine, two new initiatives have been launched by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts.

The initiatives – the Therapeutic Capability Clusters, led by the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health and Research, and the Medical Research Council (MRC)/Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Inflammation and Immunology Initiative – were announced at a joint ABPI/BioIndustry Association (BIA) conference in London.

The Therapeutic Capability Clusters initiative is designed to boost collaboration between academics, clinicians and the life sciences industry to help deliver the medicines of the future faster to UK patients and secure the UK's position as the global partner of choice for R&D collaboration.

The MRC/ABPI Inflammation and Immunology Initiative is founded on plans by the MRC to invest more than £10 million in consortia in two pilot disease areas, complementing the Therapeutic Capability Clusters programme. The initiative represents a new approach in funding by the MRC, bringing together academics and industry at the early planning stages to develop a stratified approach to disease (targeting the right treatments to the right people), enabling effective clinical trials as well as identifying novel biomarkers, mechanisms and targets.

Nigel Gaymond, BIA Chief Executive, said: ‘Today's conference demonstrates the UK's exceptional strengths in R&D across industry, academia and the health service. There can be no doubt that the UK is one of the world's key locations for life sciences.

‘Indeed, the launch of the Therapeutic Capability Clusters initiative is a prime example of how the UK's strengths in academia and the NHS can be harnessed to accelerate the development of medicines. This innovative approach to clinical research has great potential for patients in an area of unmet medical need.’

Dr Richard Barker, Director General of the ABPI and co-chair of the Supercluster initiative with Professor Sir John Bell, added: ‘The Therapeutic Capability Clusters initiative, born in our work with the Office for Life Sciences, will create true comparative advantage for the UK in translational medicine.’

The joint ABPI/BIA conference, entitled ‘Our Vision for a New Decade’, was held at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. The meeting brought together 300 delegates to discuss the excellence of the UK life sciences industry, opportunities for the UK to promote industry and academic research collaborations, and future opportunities to further develop the industry.

Share this article

More services


This article is featured in:
Companies and People


Comment on this article

You must be registered and logged in to leave a comment about this article.