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BioIndustry Assocation (BIA). (11/20/14). "Press Release: BIA Members amongst Winners of Latest Biomedical Catalyst Funding Round as Total Business-led Research Funding to Date Tops £100 Million".

Region Region United Kingdom (GB)
Organisations Organisation BioIndustry Association (BIA) (GB)
  Organisation 2 Biomedical Catalyst (GB)
  Group United Kingdom (GB) (govt)
Products Product business development (state/region)
  Product 2 BIOTECH
Index terms Index term IP Group–United Kingdom (govt): grant, 201411 Biomedical Catalyst funding £2.4m for Modern Biosciences plc to treat swelling in RA
  Index term 2 Ingenza–United Kingdom (govt): grant, 201411 Biomedical Catalyst funding £800k for enzymatic application
Persons Person Bates, Steve (BIA 201211 CEO)
  Person 2 Littler, Edward (Eddy) (ReViral 201906– COO before since 201610– CEO before Domainex + Medivir)

The latest rounds of Biomedical Catalyst awards have today been announced. This sees new funding of just over £15 million being made by Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) across 16 separate business-led projects. The Medical Research Council (MRC) has also awarded over £15 million to 13 academic-led projects at UK universities.

All industry-led awards have gone to Round 5 and 6 early and late stage projects with BIA members amongst the industry winners:

London-based Modern Biosciences has received £2.4 million to invest in a revolutionary new treatment to reduce swelling in rheumatoid arthritis

Domainex Ltd from Cambridge has been awarded just under £1.4 million towards the development of a new treatment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Heptares Therapeutics Ltd, based in Welwyn Garden City has received £1.5 million for pre-clinical development of a novel oral therapy for hyperinsulinemic hypoglycaemia

Edinburgh-based Ingenza Ltd has been awarded just over £800,000 for a novel enzymatic means to confirm correct and safe nasogastric tube placement

Steve Bates, Chief Executive Officer of the BIA, commented:
“It’s great to see BIA member companies amongst those selected for this latest round. These examples show how such funding will realise real patient benefits. Topping £100 million in funding is also a great milestone and it is satisfying for all of us who called out so strongly for the establishment and refilling of the Biomedical Catalyst to see how far it has come.”

Eddy Littler, Chief Executive officer at Domainex, said:
“Domainex is delighted to receive this award, which will enable our COPD programme to advance until regulatory studies. This will add considerable value to Domainex and we are now evaluating ways to progress this first-in-class COPD drug into the clinic. We are excited about taking our programme closer to a medicine to treat this costly and debilitating disease, which is the fourth largest global cause of death.”

Dr Sam Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Modern Biosciences, said:
“We are delighted to be offered a second award under the Biomedical Catalyst initiative and we are grateful to Innovate UK for its support. Our first award from Innovate UK allowed us to take our rheumatoid arthritis programme to a point at which we can enter clinical studies, and this further award will now enable us to demonstrate the utility of the drugs in patients. Without this funding, our programme would never have progressed to this critical stage.”

Dr Ian Fotheringham, Managing Director of Ingenza, said:
“We’re really thrilled to receive this award from the Biomedical Catalyst.  This funding will allow Ingenza to further develop our innovative diagnostic product and, together with our colleagues at Imperial College/St. Mary’s Hospital, advance the technology into large-scale testing paving the way towards better patient outcomes.”

Malcolm Weir, Heptares Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, said:
“The Biomedical Catalyst grant, combined with our expertise in structure-based drug design and the disease expertise of our academic partners, provides a powerful driver to advance our discovery and pre-clinical development programme to develop a novel oral therapy for severe hypoglycaemia in rare diseases.”


Innovate UK's press release:

Biomedical catalyst funding, Round 8 for Early-stage and Feasibility opened on Thursday, 2 October 2014

Notes to editors

The Biomedical Catalyst: The Biomedical Catalyst is a funding programme jointly operated by Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council (MRC) which provides responsive and effective support for the best translational life science opportunities arising in the UK and aims to help take projects from research to as close to commercial viability as possible. Three categories of grant are available through the Catalyst: feasibility studies, early-stage awards and late-stage awards.

BIA and the Biomedical Catalyst: The BIA led a campaign last year to ensure that the Biomedical Catalyst was extended, and publishes reports and infographics that highlight the successes of the Biomedical Catalyst programme. A BIA report published last year showcases a number of companies that have received funding and offers advice from award winners, application reviewers and the awarding bodies to companies considering applying for Biomedical Catalyst awards: [ ]

The BIA can facilitate interviews with the award winning companies detailed above. Please contact:

Jessica Gray, Communications Assistant, BioIndustry Association
Email:; Phone: 020 7630 2197 

For interviews with other companies and projects awarded funding via the Biomedical Catalyst, please contact Innovate UK or the Medical Research Council press offices:  

James Harper, Media Relations, Innovate UK
E, mail:; Phone: 07867 140481
Hannah Isom, Medical Research Council Press Office
Email:; Phone: 020 7395 2345

Background information

BioIndustry Association

Founded 25 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative enterprises involved in UK bioscience. Members include emerging and more established bioscience companies; pharmaceutical companies; academic, research and philanthropic organisations; and service providers to the bioscience sector. The BIA represents the interests of its members to a broad section of stakeholders, from government and regulators to patient groups and the media. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives. For further information, please go to and

Innovate UK, (formerly The Technology Strategy Board) is the UK's innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Innovate UK brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy.

The Medical Research Council has been at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers' money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health. Twenty-nine MRC-funded researchers have won Nobel prizes in a wide range of disciplines, and MRC scientists have been behind such diverse discoveries as vitamins, the structure of DNA and the link between smoking and cancer, as well as achievements such as pioneering the use of randomised controlled trials, the invention of MRI scanning, and the development of a group of antibodies used in the making of some of the most successful drugs ever developed. Today, MRC-funded scientists tackle some of the greatest health problems facing humanity in the 21st century, from the rising tide of chronic diseases associated with ageing to the threats posed by rapidly mutating micro-organisms. 


Jessica Gray

Communications Assistant, BioIndustry Association

Phone: 020 7630 2197 

Record changed: 2016-01-10


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