UK and industry partnership in action in UK Life Sciences

In the UK, partners work together to support a research and innovation culture that spans sectors and geographies, and supports the creation of a fully integrated life science and healthcare ecosystem that places the patient at the heart of the system.

The UK has a uniquely powerful combination of:

  • World-leading universities, science, facilities, and principal investigators

  • Established industrial R&D, manufacturing and supply chain

The UK’s capabilities and strengths

Clinical translation

Government and Industry Partners

Department of Health



  • Translational research infrastructure and clinical network supported by key opinion leaders within the National Health Service

  • Globally renowned research charities

  • A National infrastructure for health research

Access to unrivalled, clinically coded, granular health data that tracks patients throughout the whole care pathway.

Success stories

Johnson and Johnson Global Innovation Centre

Johnson & Johnson is establishing one of its four regional innovation centres in London. Targeted to open in some of the world’s leading innovation hotspots, the centre will serve as a regional hub focused on identifying early-stage innovations, and establishing novel

collaborations to invest in and speed development of those innovations to solve unmet needs in patients. “The innovation centres will help to deepen our relationships with the communities in key innovation hotspots and better support local entrepreneurs,” said Patrick Verheyen, head of the London innovation center. “Ultimately, they will serve to help us more quickly identify and tap into technological advancements that have the potential to benefit the health of people in the future.”

Eli Lilly UK investment bringing together consortium of academics

Over the last decade Eli Lilly has invested more than £100m in its Surrey research centre, home to much of the company’s neuroscience research. In 2012, Eli Lilly invested £5.4m in new early stage facilities at the site, which houses 130 clinical development scientists working across disciplines such as clinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmnacodynamics, statistics and data sciences.

Eli Lilly has invested in the UK due to the UK’s academic strength in neuroscience, and the ability to collaborate with academics institutions. In 2010, Eli Lilly established the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience which brings together a consortium of scientists from Eli Lilly with world leading academics from six British universities and aims to improve the probability of clinical success for molecules targeting the symptoms of cognitive decline in schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Almac Group and Queen’s University Belfast strategic alliance

The strategic alliance between Almac Group and Queen’s University, Belfast with £4.4m support from Almac, Invest Northern Ireland and the McClay Trust, combines industrial and academic expertise with state of the art technology and access to patient samples through the Northern Ireland Biobank. Since 2011, a test has been developed and commercialised to predict patients with colon cancer who need chemotherapy, a test to predict the risk of dying from prostate cancer is undergoing validation and novel drug targets for breast and ovarian cancer have been identified.

Clinical Development Partnerships, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and Cancer Research Technology (CRT)

Clinical Development Partnerships (CDP) is a joint initiative between CRUK and CRT. Targeting leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies with large pipelines that are forced to prioritise the agents taken into clinical development; its sole purpose is to bring life to de-prioritised cancer agents. It offers early clinical development with no upfront cost to the company and projects are undertaken on a shared-risk basis. CDP will fund each study through early stage development with the company being given the first option to take forward and commercialise the drug in exchange for future royalty payments to CRT. If the company elects not to progress the project, all rights will be given to CRT to secure an alternative development partner, thus ensuring the programme has every possible chance of reaching patients. Since its formation, 8 agents have been adopted under this initiative’s innovative business model including AstraZeneca, Astex Therapeutics, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Serono, Immatics and Lorus Therapeutics with 4 projects now in Phase I and a further 2 due to enter the clinic in 2013. The CDP team is actively seeking new agents to bring into the portfolio with a focus on small molecules and monoclonal antibodies.

For further information on UK partnerships in action please read the new UK Life Science Prospectus which can be downloaded here.

Contact us

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) can provide further information in a range of areas such as market opportunities, local skills and expertise, industry clusters, universities, incentives and funding support. Contact the Invest in the UK team by completing an enquiry form here.

Sectors: Life Sciences and Science
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