UK gives $31m to industry-academic biodevelopment collabs

By Fiona BARRY

- Last updated on GMT

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Related tags Biotechnology

The UK has granted £20m ($31m) to the biotech industry – including Horizon, FujiFilm, and Cobra Biologics, to bring mAb, cell expression, and antibiotic projects to market.

Business Secretary Vince Cable unveiled 23 winners of a competition to support collaboration between researchers and biotech businesses in the United Kingdom.

Speaking during a visit to Ingenza, a contract manufacturer and services provider for biopharma companies based in Edinburgh, Scotland, Cable said developing new antibiotics is one of the aims of the Indstrial Biotechnology Catalyst grants.

Ingenza was awarded £680,000 for research which includes the aim to discover a new class of antibiotics.

MD Ian Fotheringhamsaid the company uses “innovative synthetic biology tools to increase the speed, scale, and predictability with which we can build or redesign biological systems for commercial applications. Dr Cable's visit is a much appreciated boost to our efforts to contribute to job growth in the UK's burgeoning industrial biotechnology sector.​"

The winning projects

Twenty-three awardees received a share of the £20m fund, with an emphasis on biopharmaceutical projects and the life sciences industry. Prize money also went to research into chemistry, biofuels, and plastics.

  1. A new generation of E. coli expression hosts and tools for recombinant protein production
     ​University of Kent
  2. A Combinatorial Approach to Enhance Production of Monoclonal Antibodies
     ​University of York
  3. Developing platforms for the production of diterpenoids
     ​University of York
  4. Manufacture of complex protein polymers for industry and medicine
     ​Newcastle University
  5. Improved downstream operation through formulation innovation
     ​Arecor/Centre for Process Innovation (CPI)/ FujiFilm Diosynth Biotechnologies
  6. Bioplastic polymers based on aromatic dicarboxylic acids derived from lignin
     ​Biome Technologies/ CPI/ University of Warwick/University of Leeds
  7. ALGIPRO - Alginates by Production Scale Fermentation and Epimerisation
     CPI/AlgiPharma/ FMC Biopolymer
  8. Combinatorial genome editing to create enhanced biomanufacturing platforms
     ​Horizon Discovery/CPI NBMC/ University of Manchester
  9. Efficient production of first in class antimicrobial therapeutics from an integrated synthetic biology approach
     ​Ingenza/Plymouth University
  10. A naturally inspired industrial biotechnology route to the manufacture of a novel biopolymer with unique properties
     ​Ingenza/ Synthomer
  11. Industrial validation of nanofibre platform technology for biotherapeutics manufacture
  12. Much-efficient and cost-effective manufacturing of antibody biotherapeutics employing integrated negative chromatography technology
  13. Development of superior Clostridial strains for low cost renewable chemical production
  14. Biochemical production of succinic acid from biorefinery glycerol: De-risking, scale-up, and feasibility
     ​University of Manchester/CPI/ Brocklesby
  15. PeriTune - a clonal optimisation platform
     ​University of Manchester/Cobra Biologics
  16. Development of new tools for de novo polyketide synthase design
     ​Isomerase/University of Cambridge
  17. Generation of a library of recombineered novel polyketides and non-ribosomal peptides
     ​Isomerase/ Biosyntha/ John Innes Centre
  18. Discovery and development of large/diverse user-friendly panels of novel biocatalysts
     ​Prozomix/ Northumbria University
  19. Engineering a Nano-factory for Peptide Synthesis
     ​Generon/ University of Bristol
  20. In vivo selection of bioprocessable biopharmaceuticals
     ​University of Leeds/MedImmune/Avacta Analytical
  21. Novel production processes for L-glufosinate
  22. Novel platform biotechnology for the production of natural next generation 3D nanomaterials and nanodevices
     ​Cellucomp/James Hutton Insitute/ Mylnefield Research
  23. Driving down the cost of waste derived sugar
     ​Fiberight/CPI/Rebio Technologies/ University of Leeds/Aston/Knauf/novozymes

The prize money was provided by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Innovate UK.

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