The UK Research and Innovation has granted £66m for the development of new vaccines manufacturing innovation center in Oxford.
Led by the Jenner Institute, the new vaccines manufacturing innovation center will deal with Ebola and Lassa fever, in addition to expanding the growth of the UK’s £70bn life sciences industry.
The funding is being provided through UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Medicines Manufacturing challenge.
Expected to open in 2022, the new center will also secure additional £10m funding from commercial and other partners such as Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V. and Merck Sharp and Dohme.
GE Healthcare will also provide required expertise and training to the new vaccines manufacturing innovation center.
UK business secretary Greg Clark said: “More than 200 years ago the UK pioneered the first vaccine and with it, smallpox was eradicated.
“Now as the world is threatened by killers such as Ebola and Lassa fever we will build on our significant heritage and history to fight against them with our unmatched reputation for medical research and innovation.
“The government is investing in pioneering vaccine manufacturing as part of our modern Industrial Strategy to create more highly skilled jobs, place the NHS at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies and deliver the biggest increase in public investment in research and development in UK history.”
The new center will use the core research teams from academia and industry to develop vaccines. It will be supported by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Imperial College London, as well as the University of Oxford.
In addition, the center will work with UK companies and universities to develop advanced technologies for creating next generation preventive and therapeutic vaccines.
UK public health minister Steve Brine said: “It is no exaggeration to say that vaccines are a modern marvel and their introduction catapulted our healthcare system years ahead. Just this year we celebrated 50 years on from the introduction of the measles vaccine, which has potentially averted 20 million measles cases and 4,500 deaths.”