£10m new funding to promote drug development in UK

26 March 2010

The UK Bioprocessing Research Industry Club (BRIC) is offering £10m for research to find ways of delivering new medicines from biological materials more quickly and effectively.

BRIC is a BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council)-led partnership with EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and the UK biopharmaceutical industry, with support from the HealthTech and Medicines Knowledge Transfer Network, and was established in 2005 to fund the very best UK academics to carry out research to underpin the rapidly growing field of biological medicines.

As well as allowing scientists to undertake long term studies, this phase of BRIC is providing short term 'enabling funds' to address particularly difficult bottlenecks in the manufacture of biological medicines. These funds will allow the bioprocessing industry to call on world-class scientific expertise to ensure that new biological medicines can be made available to the consumer, quickly and cheaply.

Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC Director for Innovation and Skills, said: "BRIC is a fantastic forum for experts from academia and industry to join forces to further bioprocessing research in the UK.

"The UK pharmaceutical industry is a world leader, but its competitiveness relies on being able to call on the best expertise from academia. BRIC ensures that new and existing biopharmaceutical treatments are underpinned by excellent science."

This, the second phase of BRIC (BRIC2), aims to continue the success of the initial 5-year phase which has already committed £13m of spending in bioprocessing research. BRIC2 will focus on 5 priority areas, namely:

 Bioprocessing research challenges for protein products and their host cell producers:

  •  high-throughput bioprocess development;
  •  effective modelling of whole bioprocesses;
  •  robust and effective analytics for bioprocessing; and
  •  bioprocessing research for cellular products.

For more information see the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council website: www.bbsrc.ac.uk


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