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£1.6m funding boost will enhance links between research and industry for tackling infectious diseases

Funding for six institutions will help bring new innovations against infectious diseases into the development pipeline
Professor David Baker: ""It is fantastic to be working with other world-class institutions towards a common goal – providing life-saving interventions to combat infectious diseases."

A new consortium involving the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has launched to enhance the research to speed up development of real-world diagnostics and treatments, funded by UK Research and Innovation Medical Research Council (UKRI MRC).

LSHTM was awarded £1.6 million, alongside five partner institutions – the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK Health Security Agency, University of Oxford, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) laboratories and the Pirbright Institute. This funding will continue to provide support for early-stage translational research for both new investigators and senior investigators.

David Baker, Professor of Malaria Parasite Biology and institutional lead at LSHTM, said: “We are delighted that the Tropical Infectious Disease Consortium, formerly funded by the MRC Confidence in Concept (CiC) Scheme, has recently been awarded this additional funding from MRC through the Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) scheme.

“This funding will encourage cross sector working by enabling engagement with industrial partners and encourage collaboration between the five partner institutions. It is fantastic to be working with other world-class institutions towards a common goal – providing life-saving interventions to combat infectious diseases."

Translational research supported through this funding will progress the development of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and other point of care tools. It will allow LSHTM scientists to capitalise on their findings in the lab and take them to the next step in the development pipeline, making commercial production a realistic prospect with these new innovations tackling infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. 

By encouraging engagement with industrial partners , the infectious disease capability of academic labs can move along the translational pipeline from discovery research on pathogens (protozoan, worm, virus or bacteria) towards generating a final product that is ready for use on patients. Support through the former MRC CiC funding directly contributed to one spin-out company, 15 patent applications, one trademark and leveraged £60m in follow-on funding across partners.

The new IAA support will enable LSHTM scientists to further bolster the translational pipeline, engage with additional partners in the consortium and strengthen our support to progress innovations closer to impact.

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