The UK government has signed a deal with 25 global organisations that aims to boost life sciences research and investment in the UK. 

Plans were kicked off in September, after an industry group released an independent strategic report that urged support for genomics, as well as life sciences in the UK. Action was initiated after the group felt that their potential contribution to the country’s economy, could be vital, especially following Brexit. 

The deal includes a government commitment of up to £210 million ($280.9m), which will be used to expand early diagnostics programs, genomics research, and artificial intelligence-driven science. The genomics program will be run in partnership with GSK and AstraZeneca, in addition to an artificial intelligence program aimed at developing digital pathology and radiology programs within the NHS. In an attempt to support the program further, GSK will provide an additional £40m, and AstraZeneca has revealed that they will establish a brand new centre for genomics research in Cambridge. 

Working side by side these companies, is The Medicines Company, who has launched two cardiovascular disease-focused clinical trials in the UK, using novel methodologies to help drive the nation’s clinical trial capabilities. Johnson & Johnson will be backing the program also, through a collaboration with the University of Oxford on novel clinical methodologies. 

In response to the plans, UK Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said, “The UK has a huge amount to offer the life sciences sector, combining globally renowned scientific research bases with our world leading NHS, which allows innovators to test and refine products at scale. Today proves that science organisations of all sizes will continue to grow and thrive in the coming years, which means NHS patients will continue to be at the front of the queue for new treatments.”