SMEs can share £15m in grants to detect and treat disease

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Test tube lab workers

Businesses are being invited to apply for a share of £15m to develop techniques to detect, prevent, manage and treat disease and chronic health conditions.

The Biomedical Catalyst is seeking primer and late-stage projects for new healthcare technologies, products and processes.

They’re looking for ideas to:

• prevent and proactively manage chronic health conditions
• better detect and diagnose disease earlier, to create improved outcomes for patients
• develop new, tailored treatments for disease that offer potential cures

The funding is available through the Biomedical Catalyst, which is a partnership between Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council.

There are 2 competitions in this funding round, one for primer awards and another for late-stage projects.

Support for several health projects

The Biomedical Catalyst supports projects from any sector or discipline including:

• precision medicine
• advanced therapies, such as gene and cell therapies
• diagnostics
• digital health
• medical technologies and devices.

Organisations that have received funding in previous rounds include Entia, which has received more than £1m from Innovate UK, much of it through the Biomedical Catalyst.

This has allowed it to work with The Royal Marsden Hospital to develop a hand-held blood testing kit that can be used at home by chemotherapy patients to help them better manage their treatment and limit the number of unnecessary visits they need to make to the hospital.

The system – which has won an AXA PPP Health Tech & You Challenge award – is also likely to have other applications outside cancer care because blood counts are so widely used in hospitals and GP practices.

Primer awards

Technical evaluation through to proof of concept

Up to £5m is available for ‘primer’ projects, which cover a technical evaluation of an idea through to proof of concept.

They could include:

• experimental evaluation at laboratory scale
• initial demonstration using in vitro and in vivo models. This should not include human clinical trials
• exploring potential production mechanisms
• early-stage prototyping
• product development planning
• intellectual property protection

Competition information
• the competition opens on 6 August 2018, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 3 October 2018
• projects must be led by a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), working alone or with other SMEs or research organisations
• we expect projects to range in size from £200,000 to £1.5 million and to last between 1 and 2 years

Find out more about the competition for primer awards and apply.

Late-stage awards

Testing a well-developed concept

Up to £10 million is available for late-stage projects. These are projects that test a well-developed concept in an environment that is relevant to its use.

These could include:

• initial human proof-of-concept studies
• demonstration of clinical utility and effectiveness
• demonstration of safety and efficacy, which may include phase I and phase II clinical trials
• developing production mechanisms
• prototyping
• market testing
• intellectual property protection

Competition information

• the competition opens on 6 August 2018, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 3 October 2018
• projects must be led by an SME, working alone or with other SMEs or research organisations
• we expect projects to range in size from £200,000 to £4 million and to last between 1 and 3 years
• applicants that meet the quality threshold will be invited to interview in January 2019 to present their ideas

Find out more about the competition for late-stage awards and apply.

Useful Links

Medical Research Council,
UK Research and Innovation

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