Making life science life changing

Life sciences research is full of potential. LifeArc’s mission is to unlock this potential, advancing early scientific discoveries to the point where they can be developed into the next generation of diagnostics, treatments and cures.

  • We want to transform the way diseases are identified and treated.
  • Our new strategy, making life science life changing, sets out how we will achieve this.
  • We are committing to invest up to £1.3 billion by 2030 to transform promising life science ideas into life-changing medical breakthroughs for patients, faster.

Bridging the gap

Scientists across the UK have the imagination, determination and knowledge to transform healthcare. But translating science is a long, expensive and risky process and too few of these ideas even make it out of the lab. That’s where LifeArc comes in. We have been bridging gaps between the lab and the patient for more than 25 years, providing the scientific know-how, technology transfer expertise and funding to help turn promising early-stage science into medical breakthroughs that transform lives.

Our work to date has led to four licensed medicines, a further eight potential new medicines in clinical trials and many new innovative approaches along the translation journey. And now, we are ambitious on an entirely new scale: investing significant resource – up to £1.3 billion by 2030 – to help patient-focused life sciences make the leap from the lab to the clinic.

Our three strategic pillars

Our new strategy – making life science life changing – commits significant investment to help address areas of high patient need, working across three strategic pillars:

  • Impact with partners: working in partnership with other medical research organisations to advance the innovative science and ideas being explored by academia, charities and patient groups. We will build on our legacy of creating successful partnerships to help ensure more innovations benefit patients and society, faster.
  • Translational challenges: mobilising collaborations around translational challenges to solve urgent healthcare problems. We aim to work with others to connect and unlock the potential of scientific innovations to solve complex healthcare problems.
  • Early ventures: investing in early life science ventures, bridging the gap between academic innovation and venture funding. We will provide a much-needed source of investment for young companies developing products and technologies with the potential to transform patients’ lives.

To find out more, read our full strategy document (PDF – 7 Mb)


Impact with partners

Supporting the translational needs of our partners has always been fundamental to how we work, from our original role in advancing and commercialising the scientific research of Medical Research Council (MRC) scientists, to supporting charities and academics.

Over the past eight years we have helped more than 100 medical research charities with their research portfolios. We offer advice and expertise on the potential innovations and development opportunities around the research they support and we help them to build connections with other organisations to help progress their work.

Building on our role as a trusted partner to the life sciences community

Our impact with partners strategic pillar sees us building on this. Working as a trusted partner to support academics and medical charities to achieve their aims and develop research discoveries into interventions that improve patient outcomes is integral to our success.

Our partners benefit from access to our technology transfer expertise and tailored strategic advice on how best to advance translation through different stages. We also offer industrial know-how, the understanding and expertise of taking early-stage innovation successfully through to development in industry and towards patients.

Accelerating progress for our partners

  • We are developing new initiatives that will see us commit £200m to supporting our partners in new ways and enhancing the UK translational ecosystem.
  • We will evolve and expand our activities to create a meaningful shift in how life science innovators access state-of-the-art translational pathways, technology transfer expertise and funding.
  • Our focus will be on areas in which pathways to patients are uncharted, in rare disease research and in emerging areas of innovation such as advanced therapies, repurposing medicines and devices, digital and data.

For an example of how our partnership approach helps develop patient benefit, read about our partnership with DEBRA Austria to help children with Epidermolysis Bullosa.

Learn about our collaborative approach to funding research into rare diseases.

Or read about how we work with the MRC, including our collaboration with the MRC and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council to create a network of Gene Therapy Innovation Hubs


Translational challenges

At LifeArc, we believe that bringing together promising innovations taking place across different areas of research will deliver breakthrough solutions for patients faster.

Unlocking the potential of translational science

We aim to work with others to connect and unlock the potential of scientific innovations to solve complex healthcare problems. Our translational challenges are designed to do just that. They will connect our collective strengths and resources with the expertise and funding of other life sciences partners to rapidly advance innovation in complex areas of healthcare need.

These challenges will be long-term collaborative programmes, shaped by what patients tell us about their experiences of living with particular illnesses. And our programmes will consider the entire patient pathway – from diagnosis through to treatment and lifestyle support.

The challenges to be solved

The focus will be on complex areas of healthcare need. This could be a condition such as motor neurone disease or a broader area such as the serious intractable respiratory infections that affect people living with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis.

We will start with small projects within key themes, building upon incremental knowledge and findings to mature into a translational challenge. Ultimately, individual challenges could be enveloped in broader themes, such as neuronal health and global infection.

Collaboration will be key

We will create unique partnerships that can catalyse the translation of innovation. By collaborating we will accelerate the progress of scientific discoveries to create medical breakthroughs that transform patients’ lives. LifeArc will provide pre-clinical translational insight, spanning our core offerings of science, funding and advice. Our partners will bring their expertise and capabilities, which may include technology platforms and tools, match funding routes for developing and progressing new products, delivery to patients or commercialisation.


Early ventures funding

LifeArc’s early ventures funding aims to bridge the gap between academic innovation and the early stages of venture funding. Find out more about our early ventures funding.


Contact us

If you are interested in find out more about how we can support you or your organisation advance research discoveries into patient health improvements, please contact us.