Anthony Browne, MP for South Cambridgeshire today welcomed the announcement that the Government will invest £18m in UK biotech companies.
Mr Browne personally campaigned for the Biomedical Catalyst, the Government-funded R&D grant scheme through which the £18m will be invested, to receive more funding to help the thriving local life sciences sector in his constituency.
In a Parliamentary debate on 17 March, Mr Browne called on the Science Minister, Amanda Solloway MP, to announce the budget commitment to the Biomedical Catalyst, which he said would “unlock the investment in the companies in my constituency and across the UK, and help Britain and South Cambridgeshire retain their position as life sciences superpowers of the world.”
As part of his campaign to support Life Sciences in South Cambridgeshire, Mr Browne recently hosted Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, leading him on a tour of the Biomedical Campus by Addenbrookes.
He also wrote to the UK's top mobile network operators last year urging them to support our life scientists in a letter co-signed by the heads of South Cambridgeshire's Life Science campuses, and also chairs a regular Life Sciences Forum to keep the dialogue between the government and the local life sciences sector as open and productive as possible.
Commenting today, Anthony Browne MP said: “Life sciences remain our largest R&D sector and I am thrilled that the Government has continued to support the Biomedical Catalyst competition. Previous award winners have shown what a triumph this programme can be, including in the case of nine winners from my constituency. I welcome the opportunity this provides to bring investment and support for local biotech companies as they emerge from the economic disruption of the pandemic”
Dr Olivia Cavlan, Head of Business & Operations at Alchemab Therapeutics, a biotech company based at the Babraham Research Campus, said: “Receiving the Biomedical Catalyst grant for our work to develop an antibody treatment for Huntington’s disease provided fantastic scientific validation of Alchemab’s unique approach to drug discovery. It was an important contributor to securing further venture capital investment and enables our extraordinary team of Cambridge-based scientists to work in collaboration with the Medicines Discovery Catapult near Manchester to drive this project forward.”
Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BIA said: “The Biomedical Catalyst is a key source of early-stage funding for UK bioscience companies to help them scale scientific ideas into products and therapies for patients. We are delighted that the Government, UKRI and Innovate UK have listened to the life sciences community and see the benefit of pump priming the translation of UK life science innovation into economic benefit for the nation in continuing to support this tried and tested programme.”