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Significant funding opportunities in UK for Indian pharma companies: Geoff Wain

There are significant India-specific funding opportunities in Britain’s lifesciences sector, which is already being leveraged by some of the largest Indian pharmaceutical companies from India, said Geoff Wain, British Deputy High Commissioner-Ahmedabad, while speaking at the Elets National Food and Pharma Summit in Gujarat recently.

Geoff Wain, British Deputy High Commissioner-Ahmedabad, receiving a souvenir from Ravi Gupta, CEO, Elets Technomedia, during the National Food and Pharma Summit in Gujarat.

“There are significant India specific funding opportunities, such as the Newton-Bhabha fund and the India UK Collaborative Industrial Research and Development Programme, which is part of the UK’s 375 million pound Newton Fund to support science and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging countries. In India, the fund is worth 50 million pounds and is supported by the UK and the Indian Government through four ministerial agreements,” Wain said.

India and the UK have been working together for a very long time to develop novel drugs and innovative product
manufacturing processes.

“The British government is currently running a campaign for developing tomorrow’s medicines, which will make the best medicine in quality. We strongly suport the ‘Make in India’ campaign of Prime Minister Modi ji. To deepen and strengthen the India-UK relationship, the UK Government is promoting Make in India using the UK technology,” he said.

“We have some excellent success stories of Indian companies collaborating with UK companies in areas of diabetes
treatment, oncology, anti-microbial resistance and vaccines,” Wain added.

The recent MoU between the UK MHRA and the Indian regulators, and the close relationship between UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence with India are clear indicators that India recognises UK as an ideal partner to help it move up the value chain in drug development, according to British Deputy High Commissioner – Ahmedabad.

Talking about UK’s lifesciences sector and the opportunities to do business with the country, he said that about seven of the top 100 medicines in use today around the world originated from the research in the UK.

“We currently have 79 Nobel Prizes for contributions to medical sciences and all of the 20 biggest pharmaceutical
manufacturing companies in the world are active and represented in the UK. The lifesciences sector is the third largest contributor to the economic growth in the UK, accounting for 200,000 jobs with a total turnover of $59 billion,” Wain said.

“To support manufacturing amid innovation in the UK, the British Government has established centres of excellence, or catapults as we call them, such as the cell therapy catapult, the precision medicine catapult, the medicine discovery catapult, the digital catapult and the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre,” he added.

The UK’s clinical research network provides free support to our lifesciences industry to deliver high quality research in the UK’s National Health Service.

Indian companies such as Indus Pharmceuticals, Cadilla, Cipla, Piramal and many more have invested in the UK, and they are expanding their overseas business through UK offices.

As part of the UK government initiatives, more than two billion pounds have been invested in health and lifesciences since the launch of Lifesciences Strategy in 2011.

The Department of Health and National Institute of Research Programme have leveraged 3.5 billion pounds worth of private investment. As many as 318 biomedical companies have received 250 million pounds in grants, plus further 120 million pounds have been obtained from the industry.

Regional grant support and advanced manufacturing and supply chain group provided 91 million pounds for 25 new
projects, leveraging additional 300 million pounds in investments, according to Wain.

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