More than 6M of funding has been awarded to enhance the development of biopharmaceuticals.
In total 6.5M will fund 12 projects to deliver commercially important results, such as industrial-scale production of antibodies, stem cell preservation at room temperature, biopharmaceutical production using microbes and commercial scale stem cell therapy.
The funding is the second round of awards from Phase 2 of the Bioprocessing Research Industry Club (BRIC), a partnership between the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a consortium of leading companies and HealthTech and Medicines Knowledge Transfer Network.
Bioprocessing is the use of living cells or their components (e.g. enzymes) to manufacture desirable products. The innovative projects will investigate new tools and methods for bioprocessing which will be of particular benefit to the biopharmaceutical sector, where developing new drugs is often slow, expensive and complicated.
The UK biopharmaceutical sector comprises over 250 companies and it is forecast that, by 2016, eight of the top ten 'blockbuster' medicines will be biologics rather than conventional small molecules. The sector is of huge importance to the UK economy.
The new research will take place at nine UK universities. BRIC-funded research addresses bioprocesses at all scales of operation, from the small amounts required for pre-clinical studies through to post-licence mass manufacture.
Priority areas for BRIC research include bioprocessing 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.
Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC Director, Innovation and Skills, said: "This latest investment in bioprocessing research through BRIC will further enhance our abilit
|Contact: Chris Melvin|
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council