April, 12 – The Department of Health has announced a multimillion pound funding boost for 22 new vaccines – all with the potential to take on diseases with epidemic potential such as Ebola, Zika and MERS.
Infectious diseases do not respect borders so by leading the world in global health we are strengthening our defences against deadly diseases and protecting UK citizens.
Many of the winning projects, including SMEs and teams based at leading universities across the country, will be able to begin work immediately thanks to this funding.
£25million has been made available to support these exciting projects. Teams across the UK will receive their share of £10m of upfront support to their projects at an earlier stage of vaccine development, with a further £15m available to support the projects that demonstrate the most early success take it the research to the next stage.
The fund is aimed at the 12 diseases identified by the UK Vaccine Network as a priority (chikungunya; Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever; Ebola; hantavirus; lassa fever; Marburg virus; Middle East respiratory syndrome; nipah; plague; Q fever; Rift Valley fever; Zika).
This latest commitment expands the Department of Health’s existing world-leading investment, directly supporting 48 projects to develop 53 vaccines to tackle the world’s most dangerous diseases, as well as five projects supporting technologies to improve the manufacture and administration of vaccines and new diagnostic devices. As well as saving lives around the world, this funding will support the UK economy with a £7 return on every £1 we invest. This investment is estimated to result in the creation of 147 jobs across the country
These projects will be the latest to benefit from the UK Vaccine Network – a £120 million fund launched after the Ebola crisis to support Britain’s world-leading role fighting deadly diseases.
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said:
“The UK is leading the global fight against deadly diseases and we can be proud of the research in British laboratories. It is vital our world-class research companies build on this success and remain at the forefront of work to develop vaccines against life-changing diseases such as Zika and Ebola.
“Our continued investment will continue to support the best and brightest minds, secure highly skilled research jobs, and make it more likely the next major breakthrough will be discovered in Britain.”