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Quark to set up “largest biotechnology fund in Canada” for $500m

Canadian venture capital firm Quark Venture is to partner up with China’s GF Securities to launch a “largest of its kind” biotechnology fund in the country, with the price tag coming to US$500 million.

The Global Health Sciences Fund will target “best-in-the-world biotechnology” and is designed to stimulate the fields of drug development, health IT, medical devices and other technologies in the region.

Sovaldi ‘unaffordable’ says NHS documents

Sovaldi pack shot
Gilead's Sovaldi costs £35,000 for a course of treatment in the UK

Senior health officials may have to bar Gilead’s new hepatitis C pill Sovaldi from being funded on the NHS after new data shows it would cost the health service £1 billion a year to fund.

This comes despite NICE saying in recent draft guidance that it is willing to pay for the treatment, which costs around £35,000 per patient, making it one of the most expensive drugs outside of oncology in the world.

Rare disease fund scrapped by NHS England

NHS England image
NHS England, Quarry House

NHS England has pulled the plug on a £50 million fund to advance innovation in the investigation and treatment of rare conditions.

The Specialised Services Commissioning Innovation Fund (SSCIF) was first announced in August this year. It was developed to accelerate the adoption of innovative new approaches to specialised services.

The fund was part of the government’s Innovation Health and Wealth (IHW) programme, which since its 2011 launch has failed to prove a great success.

British biotech industry gains £200m boost

The Wellcome Trust is to launch a £200 million business that will invest in emerging healthcare and life sciences firms.

Currently known as ‘Project Sigma’, a name for the new entity will be announced shortly. Its £200 million of initial capital is taken from the trust’s endowment.

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