Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products

(asked on 15th November 2022) - View Source

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that research into cell and gene therapies is adequately funded.

Answered by
Lord Markham Portrait
Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
This question was answered on 28th November 2022

The Department of Health and Social Care and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy fund research into cell and gene therapies including through the Office for Life Sciences. The Department of Health and Social Care has recently announced the outcome of an open competition for designation and funding of the National Institute for Health and Care Research’s (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs). Of the 20 BRCs, 14 conduct research into cell and gene therapies, which has the potential to address complex diseases, such as motor neurone disease and rare disorders for which there are currently no effective treatments.

Since April 2017, the NIHR has provided £38,623,171 to fund 39 specific research projects. While the NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including cell and gene therapies, it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, established by Innovate UK, develops the cell and gene therapy industry in the United Kingdom, working with academia and industry to ensure therapies can be used in health services globally. The Catapult has received £75.4 million from the Government in the current five-year funding period until March 2023. The Medical Research Council (MRC) funds the research and development of advanced therapies across its response mode funding schemes and through a number of strategic funding calls. In 2021/22, the MRC funded £33.9 million in research and infrastructure for advanced therapies from discovery research through to translation and clinical trials.

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