UK BioIndustry AssociationThe UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) has published a new report: The Biomedical Catalyst, Making the Case to Continue.

Published following the announcement of the last round of the current Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) funding allocation, the report gives a retrospective of the current scheme and showcases ten case studies from companies who have been recipients of BMC funding.

To date, the BMC scheme has awarded more than £250 million to accelerate medical research. Over 180 business-led projects have been supported with funds worth more than £130 million and with a total project value of over £240 million. This means that over £100 million of additional private capital, in the form of matched funding, has been leveraged as a condition of the Biomedical Catalyst awards. Furthermore, beyond the Biomedical Catalyst awards, post-award funded companies and academics have realised in excess of a further billion pounds in the form of additional private finance, grant funding, via licencing or acquisition.

This new BIA report demonstrates that the Biomedical Catalyst is a successful government policy that is underpinning the ongoing growth of the UK life sciences sector and calls for it to be continued in order to sustain this and ensure the ongoing contribution of the life sciences sector to overall UK economic growth.

Steve Bates, CEO of the BIA stated: “The Biomedical Catalyst fills a crucial structural gap in the UK investment pathway, early in company development where private sector investors will not venture alone. If this is removed or diluted, already invested SMEs will fall again into the funding valley of death and the whole life sciences ecosystem, and UK economic growth will suffer. As we head towards this year’s Spending Review our message is clear: the Biomedical Catalyst must be continued.”

The report, published under the United Life Sciences partnership, also carries the support of Bionow, BioPartner UK, MediWales and One Nucleus.  Dr Geoff Davison, Chief Executive Officer of Bionow, commented: “This report demonstrates that the Biomedical Catalyst is supporting innovation throughout the UK, creating jobs and fostering welcome collaborations across the life sciences ecosystem especially between industry and academia. With the scheme in full-flow and with business-led projects having already leveraged over £100m in additional private capital, it would be wrong not to build on this success with a continued Biomedical Catalyst.”

Lin Bateson, Executive Director of BioPartner UK, added: “Other markets such as the US and Germany take technology closer to market through specific innovation and funds. If the UK fails to sustain the Biomedical Catalyst, an effective and proven mechanism that de-risks a promising innovation to a stage that other forms of financing will come in, then the UK stands to lose its position as Europe’s leader in this global and innovative industry.”

Debbie Laubach, Operations Manager of MediWales, stated: “As this reports clearly shows, one of the Biomedical Catalyst’s chief achievements has been to act as a green light, validating a project’s underlying science and technology. As the case studies of the report show, this has allowed companies to seek further private capital even after a BMC-backed project has completed, transforming businesses and leading to pioneering innovations in areas of unmet medical need. This is a model of excellence for the best use of public investment and underlines why the Biomedical Catalyst should be continued.”

And Harriet Fear, Chief Executive Officer of One Nucleus, concluded:  “As the case studies contained in this report demonstrate, the Biomedical Catalyst has proven to literally be catalytic for many companies in taking promising ideas and turning them into tangible innovations that would not have been possible without this support. In order to ensure that innovation with the potential to save and improve lives continues, the government must give ongoing support to the Biomedical Catalyst.”