UK Gov invests £277m in life sciences firms

  • Four life sciences companies from across the UK will benefit from the first tranche of Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF) grants
  • £277 million will help fund and advance life sciences manufacturing projects in both medical diagnostics and human medicines
  • £17 million government funding unlocks a further £260 million in private sector investment, creating 320 jobs and safeguarding 199 jobs
  • this builds on the pilot Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund (MDMTF) £75 million joint public and private investment in the sector, securing 224 new jobs and safeguarding a further 345

Four life sciences companies, ranging from medical diagnostics to medicines manufacturing, will see £277 million in joint government and industry backing to help grow and innovate.

The funding, announced by Science Minister George Freeman today (28 March 2023), forms the first tranche of winning grants from the Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF).

£17 million in government funding is supported by additional private investment of £260 million, to back companies investing in life science manufacturing projects that help grow our economy, boost health resilience, deploy innovation, minimise environmental impacts and support levelling up.

The funding will help grow an innovative economy across the UK, supporting more than 500 jobs at companies across the UK, from North Wales to Northern Ireland.

Minister of State for Science, Research & Innovation, George Freeman, said:

The UK’s £94 billion Life Science sector provides over 250,000 high skill jobs across the UK from drug discovery to diagnostics, medtech devices and digital health.

The industry is being transformed by the pace of change: from AI to genomics, bio manufacturing to smart stents and personalised immunotherapies, technologies are converging to create a new era of advanced digital products.

That requires new types of advances manufacturing plant which is why we set up the Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund, which today’s news shows is working: converting £17 million grants to four companies into £260 million industrial investment.

LSIMF follows on from the Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund (MDMTF) pilot programme which launched in April 2021. Over its lifespan, MDMTF delivered £75 million in joint government and industry investment, while also creating 224 new jobs and protecting 345 existing roles. Today’s funding rollout means, combined, the two Funds have delivered £352 million in government and private sector investment into the life sciences sector, while also supporting more than 1000 jobs.

The government’s Life Sciences Vision, published in 2021, set the ambition to create a globally competitive environment for Life Science manufacturing investments, building on the strengths of our manufacturing R&D, our network of innovation centres, the manufacturing response to COVID-19 and delivery of the Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund. Life sciences are also central to the UK Science and Technology Framework, published earlier this month, which identifies the critical technologies set to make the biggest difference to health and life science progress, as well as plans to improve the regulatory landscape for life sciences.

The successful companies being supported through the first tranche of LSIMF grants to build on those aims are:

  • Ipsen – £75 million investment to grow the manufacture of innovative medicines for neurological conditions, creating 39 new jobs and safeguarding a further 37 at their Wrexham facility
  • Pharmaron – £151 million investment in capital and people will substantially grow operations in Liverpool, increasing production capacity four-fold for critical gene therapy and vaccine components and creating 174 jobs, while also safeguarding a further 156
  • Touchlight – £14 million investment will create 17 jobs and protect a further 6, boosting UK health resilience by establishing the commercial scale manufacture of DNA at their Hampton, London base
  • Randox – £36 million investment to modernise the manufacture of antibodies used across diagnostic tests. A new facility in Crumlin, Northern Ireland, will create 90 new jobs

This will build on an additional £10 million for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced at Spring Budget which will accelerate NHS patient access to the most impactful and innovative new treatments. It will allow the MHRA to introduce new, swift approvals systems from 2024, speeding up access to treatments already approved by trusted international partners and ground-breaking technologies such as cancer vaccines and AI therapeutics for mental health.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt said:

The UK is home to Europe’s largest life science sector – it’s a real British success story which includes the first COVID vaccine that saved millions of lives.

We want to cement Britain’s competitive advantage by backing more innovative projects to develop, manufacture and export those treatments of the future.

Minister of State for Health Will Quince said:

We’re harnessing the same spirit of innovation that delivered the COVID vaccine, and working hand in hand with industry and healthcare experts to get cutting-edge medicines to patients faster.

This is an important step towards strengthening the UK’s long term manufacturing capability, while supporting the development of innovative technologies and ground breaking medicines.

The life sciences sector is crucial to the UK’s health resilience. Through government and industry investment, we will continue to drive it forward – creating jobs and cementing our position as a global life sciences superpower.

This announcement comes ahead of tomorrow’s (29 March 2023) ‘Treasury Connect’ conference where the Chancellor will bring together experts in the Life Sciences sector to discuss ways to harness this thriving sector and help grow the UK economy.

This is the third in a series of 5 Treasury Connect events focused on the Chancellor’s key growth industries: technology; creative industries; life sciences; advanced manufacturing; and the green economy.


Background information on LSIMF winning companies:


£14 million investment to establish commercial scale manufacture of ‘doggybone’ DNA to address a significant bottleneck in the production of advanced therapies including mRNA vaccines, gene and cell therapies. The investment will boost UK health resilience as well as creating 17 jobs and safeguarding a further 6 in Hampton, London. The strategic strength lies in its highly innovative ‘platform’ technology which can produce high purity DNA at scale using enzymes which is in high demand by the pharmaceutical industry. Touchlight believes its technology has key advantages over its main competitors and the opportunity here is to accelerate the company’s plans enabling it to become the global leader in the manufacture of DNA.


£151 million investment in capital and people will substantially grow their operations in Liverpool to increase production capacity 4-fold for critical gene therapy and vaccine components. This investment will create 174 jobs and safeguard 156 jobs. The strategic strength of this investment is about substantially scaling operations at an existing centre of excellence in advanced therapies to respond to rapidly growing customer demand. The UK already has Europe’s largest cell and gene therapy cluster, but the majority of these companies are located in the Southeast. This substantial expansion in Liverpool will help grow the regional cluster of science rich capabilities.


£75 million investment to grow their manufacturing of innovative medicines for limb spasticity and other ‘difficult to treat’ neurological diseases. This investment will create 39 jobs and safeguard a further 37 at their facility in Wrexham, North Wales. The company is ‘science-led’ with with UK-based Centres of Excellence for both discovery R&D and process R&D for manufacturing. This investment would increase the company’s footprint at Wrexham, tapping into UK-initiated R&D and manufacturing for the benefit of patients’ worldwide.


£36 million investment to modernise the manufacture of antibodies used across their full range of diagnostic tests. The new facility will create 90 jobs in Crumlin, Northern Ireland and support further R&D and the capabilities of the local workforce.

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