The UK pharmaceutical sector generates a trade surplus in excess of £5 billion per annum. Furthermore, it is estimated that the UK pharmaceutical sector invests £13.3 million in R&D every day. Current figures show that this sector employs 72,000 employees with 27,000 of those working exclusively in R&D. With these impressive statistics, it is no wonder that the pharmaceutical sector is UK’s most successful research-based industry. There are however, many challenges facing the pharmaceutical sector, most noticeably increased customer expectation and poor scientific productivity. With patents expiring, increased public scrutiny and budgetary challenges, this industry is at a crossroads. It has been suggested that for every 25,000 compounds that start in the laboratory, 25 will be tested on humans and perhaps only 5 will ever make it to market. The methodology adopted for new drug development is well established and can be broken down into four distinct stages: drug discovery, preclinical development, clinical development and post launch. In each of these stages pharmaceutical companies will be undertaking qualifying R&D activities.

Examples of eligible R&D activities:

  • Developing new chemical entities;
  • Improving personal products incorporating never-before combined ingredients;
  • Sourcing new ingredients to overcome sensitivities and eliminate impurities;
  • Developing new processes to scale up production without compromising component stability;
  • Appreciably improving inhibit bacterial growth to extend shelf life;
  • Overcoming complexities around chemistry, stability, performance and safety to meet legislative requirements;
  • Development new materials to significant improve prosthesis;
  • Development Smart equipment to control dosage of chemicals at an improved level of accuracy with feedback to medical staff.