BIA_logoInnovative small British companies are tackling key healthcare challenges thanks to new government funding for start-up and scaling companies.

Twelve BIA member companies were among those awarded funding through the Biomedical Catalyst 2016 scheme. Launched in July last year by former Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, the Biomedical Catalyst 2016 saw more than £26 million of funding awarded across 66 projects by Innovate UK, the Medical Research Council and Scottish Enterprise.

Steve Bates, BIA CEO, commented: “UK life science company innovation is key to tackling key healthcare challenges we all face. I’m delighted to see so many of our members receive funding as part of this latest competition. The consistent campaigning of the BIA and our members has ensured that this key source of early stage funding will continue to support the development of new life-changing medical treatments, diagnostics and devices, and underpin economic growth for the future.”

“The bioscience sector requires a sustained funding ladder wherein promising innovations and companies have the most optimal environment from start up to liquidity. The Biomedical Catalyst scheme has proved to be an integral rung on that ladder — crowding in additional private sector investment, allowing the UK to lead the way in tackling global health challenges such as dementia, type one diabetes and antimicrobial resistance.”

“It’s pleasing to see for the first time the participation of Scottish Enterprise in this UK scheme for the first time; I believe there is opportunity for other devolved nations and regions to look on this as a model to develop investment in their own local SME healthcare ecosystems going forward.”

Previous recipients of Biomedical Catalyst funding, BIA member Discuva, were awarded funding for novel Gram-negative antibiotic drug discovery.

David Williams, CEO, Discuva, said: “We’re very grateful of being awarded another Innovate UK award, which is further endorsement of our totally new approach to the creation of much-needed Gram-negative antibiotics. Adding more candidates into our development pipeline will ultimately lead to more clinical weapons in our armoury for fighting antimicrobial resistance in our hospitals and communities.”

The long running Biomedical Catalyst scheme has seen post-award funded companies and academics realise in excess of a further billion pounds in the form of additional private finance, grant funding, via licencing or through acquisition.