UKRI’s Healthy Ageing Challenge and cancer charity Prostate Cancer Research have agreed to become investment partners, a first for UKRI. The partnership will combine government grant funding and equity investment by the charity to fund better ways to diagnose and treat prostate cancer. Total funding available under the programme includes £18 million of grant funding and £18 million of equity investment.
UKRI’s Healthy Ageing Challenge Investment partnership programme combines government funding and private investment in research and business, supporting innovators to produce products and services that promote healthy ageing, which can be adopted at scale. Prostate Cancer Research joins other investment partners Northstar Ventures, Nesta and 24Haymarket.
Prostate Cancer Research aim to offer several million over the next few years in equity funding, aligned with funding by UKRI, for early state companies that are working on treatments, diagnostics and services that tackle prostate cancer. The charity’s initial allocation is £300K.
Oliver Kemp, CEO of Prostate Cancer Research, said: “Diagnosed late, prostate cancer can be fatal and for those diagnosed early, the treatments as well as the condition itself, can have long-term repercussions for health and wellbeing. Strategic investment in support of innovations that meet the needs and preferences of patients is the key to bringing about positive change for all those diagnosed with prostate cancer. We are absolutely delighted to be the first charity to partner with Innovate UK in this way. This investment partnership will significantly bolster our ability to create an environment where financial support, advice and collaboration accelerate our journey towards a future where men diagnosed with prostate cancer live longer and with a better quality of life.“
George MacGinnis, UKRI’s Healthy Ageing Challenge director, said: “Providing grant funding alongside equity investment helps encourage scientific and innovation breakthroughs for a whole range of issues that affect an ageing population. Vitally, the government contribution de-risks the private or third-sector sector investment, allowing cutting edge innovation to prosper and scale up until it becomes attractive to the traditional venture capital market.”
About Prostate Cancer Research’s investment
The charity’s mission is to create scientific breakthroughs by directing financial support, advice and collaboration opportunities that could have a meaningful impact on patients’ lives. Its investment programme Proven Connect is dedicated to supporting companies developing innovative diagnostics, therapeutics, drug delivery systems and services that have the potential to transform the patient journey for men with prostate cancer. It will focus on early-stage investments, including both companies for whom prostate cancer is a primary target as well as those companies with innovative technologies with potential applications in prostate cancer.