UK Business Secretary Greg Clark and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt have entered a ‘sector deal’ with the country’s life sciences industry to boost science and research, genomics, clinical trials, treatments and medical technologies.

The deal will see significant investment from 25 life science organisations such as Merck and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), with support from the government.

Merck will open a new headquarters and life sciences discovery research facility in London, creating 950 jobs to support biomedical discovery.

The government has announced up to £210m in funding for early diagnostics and genomics, with support from GSK and AstraZeneca through a new artificial intelligence (AI) programme for the development of digital pathology and radiology.

In addition, the government has decided to offer £162m for boosting medicines manufacturing infrastructure with the new Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre and a Vaccines facility.

“The UK is extraordinarily well-placed to play a leading role in this revolution in the life sciences.”

Furthermore, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutica is set to partner with the University of Oxford for new clinical trial methodologies aimed at mental health disorders.

In line with the novel trial methodologies initiative, the Medicines Company has already launched a multinational cardiovascular disease trial with the university and another with the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership to obtain better insights, management and economics of the disease.

Greg Clark said: “The UK is extraordinarily well-placed to play a leading role in this revolution in the life sciences.

“Our National Health Service is a prized national asset – the nation’s biggest employer and a deep source of learning and of translating discoveries into care.

“That is what our Industrial Strategy sets out to support and achieve. So it is appropriate that the first Sector Deal of our Industrial Strategy should be with the life sciences sector.”