28 Aug 2018

Biomedical Catalyst: Late Stage

Bethan Roullier
Head of BD Grants

What is the Biomedical Catalyst 2018 round 2: late stage competition?

This is an opportunity for your company to receive 70% grant funding towards proposals that support the development of innovative healthcare products, technologies and processes. Your project can cost anywhere between £200,000 and £4 million, and be up to 36 months long.

Late stage projects can include:

  • initial human proof-of-concept studies
  • demonstration of clinical utility and effectiveness
  • demonstration of safety and efficacy (including phase I and II clinical trials)
  • developing production mechanisms
  • prototyping
  • market testing
  • intellectual property protection

What are Innovate UK looking for?

This competition is looking to fund projects where the technology outputs offer:

  • disease prevention and proactive management of health and chronic conditions
  • earlier or better detection and diagnosis of disease, leading to better patient outcomes
  • tailored treatments that either change the underlying disease or offer potential cures

Innovate UK will support projects from any discipline, including advanced therapies (cell and gene therapy), precision medicine (both therapy and diagnostic components), diagnostics, digital health, medical technologies and devices.

Here’s some real-world examples of projects that have been successful in recent rounds of this competition:

  • Development of a disposable wetness sensor for use in patients with urinary incontinence.
  • Design for manufacture, tooling design, CE marking, initial low volume manufacture and manufacturing scale up activities for a device used to scavenge red blood cells lost by patients during surgery.
  • Development of tumour infiltrating lymphocyte therapy for Ovarian Cancer
  • A human clinical trial for safety and effectiveness of a new treatment for patients suffering with bronchopleural fistula (an abnormal hole between the airway and chest cavity).
  • Development of a home monitoring technology for cancer patients that can reduce unnecessary hospital visits for patients and reduce the likelihood of life-threatening adverse events occurring.
  • Development of a new technology to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

How can you improve your chances of  being awarded grant funding?

Having a robust scientific evidence base is an absolute must for this competition – your application will undergo a rigorous technical appraisal by the assessors. Be sure to include high-quality, peer reviewed background research where you can. You may wish to consider an academic collaborator on the project, to add external validation and expertise.

Don’t be afraid of sharing your proprietary technical data with the assessors – everything you disclose is classed as ‘commercial in confidence’ – as such, this means it is not classed as public disclosure, and will not affect any future intellectual property filings.

Explain carefully what your innovation is using plain English where you can – do not assume the assessor has in-depth knowledge and use acronyms or jargon that wold not be understandable to others outside your field. The more easily you can explain your innovation, the better chance you have of the assessors fully understanding your solution and seeing why it is ground-breaking as you think it is!

Consider a clinical collaborator – your product will either be used by clinicians or given to patients by clinicians. Having a solid understanding of how and where your product fits into clinical care pathways is vital for success. Moreover, if you are lucky enough to reach the major awards committee panel, you will present your project to a panel that includes highly experienced clinical academics – having this kind of expertise on your team can stand you in good stead.

How can TBAT help you?

TBAT has a team of grant writing experts with over 40 years’ combined experience of writing proposals for scientific R&D projects in a variety of fields, including MedTech, Biotechnology and Medicines Development (you can see more about our team here).

We offer a grant-review service for clients who prepare their own proposals, and will offer structured advice on how to turn a document into a high-quality proposal. We will give honest feedback to ensure the proposal stands the best chance of success.

However, our most common mode of working is to take on full writing of the application; this is often where clients simply haven’t the internal time/resource needed to dedicate to producing a competitive application.

What if I’ve already done research in this area?

If you have already invested time and money into developing innovative healthcare technology, then you could well be able to claim money back from HMRC in the form of an R&D Tax Credit. Our specialist R&D Tax Credits team can assess your spending for up to two full previous business years to calculate the refund due – this can be taken as a tax credit off your next tax bill, or as a direct cash injection into the business now.

What should I do next?

Please call us on 01332 819740 to discuss applying for Grant Funding or claiming R&D Tax Credits with our specialists, or drop us a line using our contact form, and we’ll get straight back to you.

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