Novel Therapies (including Bioprocessing) Priority Area

This priority area is composed of approximately 200 companies and has a dynamic industrially engaged academic base. Of these companies 60% are well engaged with the KTN and we have contacts that receive KTN information in 85%. The aim of this priority area is to address knowledge trransfer issues to drive innovation. The main vehicles to address this area are official groups in manufacturing innovation and analytical technology as well as the Annual BioProcessUK Conference which is primarily funded from the private sector.

In addition, the KTN supports the Bioprocessing Research Industry Club (BRIC) and is developing a technology road map in support of the Technology Strategy Board High Value Manufacturing strategy. The BioMedical Catalyst is expected to feed the asset pipeline that will require bioprocessing expertise.

The KTN is developing a strategic blueprint to articulate what is needed to maximise benefit for UKplc. What has been achieved includes a growth in critical mass in business-to-business and business to academia collaborative research and development. BRIC now with 16 industry members has invested over £24M in industry facing research and aligns ten additional PhD studentships per annum. A network of academic research excellence has emerged with several larger centres evident such as UCL, Manchester, Newcastle, Kent and Sheffield.

The KTN plays a key role in ensuring industry relevance and engagement for these Centres. Official Group activity on Biomanufacturing Innovation and Biopharmaceutical Analysis has supported the needs of the community and evolve as necessary – as seen with the transformation of the Operational Excellence Official Group to become the technology focused Biomanufacturing Innovation Group.

Fast facts

  • UK companies own around 10% of the biopharmaceutical products in development worldwide, with a potential value of over £20 billion.
  • Biopharmaceuticals make up over 10% of licensed product sales value but over one third of potential new drugs in the development pipeline.

Biopharmaceutical products are medicines that have been developed exploiting biological processes such as cells or enzymes. Biopharmaceuticals  are large and complex molecules, so sophisticated methods are needed to make these therapies. 

Bioprocessing is the underpinning technology essential to make biopharmaceutical products. It covers aspects from a molecular and cellular level through to full scale biomanufacture (we define ‘biomanufacturing’ purely as the manufacturing component of bioprocessing). Bioprocessing is intrinsically linked to the biopharmaceutical product itself, hence the phrase “the process is the product”.

Biopharmaceutical bioprocessing in the UK - The UK has always been at the forefront of biopharmaceutical development - from its origins in blood and bone marrow transplant and the discovery of antibodies for therapeutic application, to the discovery of stem cell culture techniques and developments in biomaterials. All of which require a strong Bioprocessing sector.

There are over 250 companies operating in the UK biopharmaceutical bioprocessing sector, which is recognised by the UK government as a key sector of the life sciences. With the second highest number of biopharmaceuticals in development worldwide, the UK is well placed to take a significant share of the market.

The HealthTech and Medicines KTN team has significant experience and expertise in biopharmaceutical bioprocessing. Many of the team were involved in the former bioProcessUK KTN, which was established to implement Recommendation 4 of the Bioscience Innovation and Growth Team report, ‘Bioscience 2015’.

The report called for moves to establish a strong bioprocessing sub-sector by building a network of centres of excellence, attracting inward investment and fostering the developing of the bioprocessing community. The government’s support for the BIGT report’s aims was endorsed in the ‘Review and Refresh of Bioscience 2015’ report.

Visit our Official Groups section to see the KTN’s range of technically focussed interest groups, from biopharmaceutical formulation to bioprocessing for advanced therapies.


Using Peptides to support Therapeutic Intervention


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