By Daniel Hunter

An early stage drug development company, based at the University of Liverpool has been allocated £4.7 million from the third round of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to help boost the local economy, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced today (Friday).

Redx Pharma has a conditional offer of £4.7 million to help fund an initial two-year pre-clinical phase of a five year research and development project. The project will deliver new treatments for microbial infection as well as anti-viral therapies for conditions such as influenza, hepatitis C and HIV for progression to human clinical trials.

The research will create 119 skilled jobs directly at the company within chemistry, biochemistry and analytical testing and a further 28 specialist jobs within the wider supply chain over its lifetime.

The Business Secretary was visiting to announce their round three offer as well as meet staff and see the progress from their round two project which received £5.9 million from the Regional Growth Fund to establish a state-of-the-art oncology centre.

Speaking at Redx Pharma, Vince Cable said:

“The Regional Growth Fund is creating the long-term growth and jobs that Liverpool and the North West needs. Every project supports important local priorities and there is a good alignment with key sectors in our Industrial Strategy including automotive, aerospace and life sciences as illustrated here today at Redx Pharma.

“Redx Pharma’s previous award from round two has already helped them establish an impressive oncology research centre and has created over 50 new jobs since April this year. I look forward to seeing the progress of the vital drugs research that they are carrying out which will maintain the UK’s competitiveness within the life sciences industry and deliver benefits for patients.”

Dr Neil Murray, CEO from Redx Pharma said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded a second grant from the Regional Growth Fund. Their support is critical in enabling Redx to create a sustainable business and adapt to the rapidly-changing R&D landscape in the pharmaceutical industry. We have strong partners in Liverpool in the City, the NHS and the Universities and we look forward to working with them as we take our infectious disease business forwards.

“The World Health Organisation has identified drug resistance, particularly in the area of anti-biotics, as one of the most pressing human health concerns globally. We believe that the fresh thinking and original approach that we apply will create effective solutions, generating new therapies that will benefit patients worldwide.”

The Secretary of State’s visit comes ahead of the Government’s announcement of the allocation of £1.05 billion funding from the third round of the Regional Growth Fund. The North West region has received £77million from round three of the fund, which will create and safeguard nearly 19,720 jobs in the area. This is on top of the 46 successful bids from rounds one and two of the fund, of which 32 have already started.

It was also announced that five of the round three bids linked to the pharmaceuticals sector have been selected with £17 million being awarded from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. This will unlock £80 million private investment by the sector.

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