2073 - Stem Cells: Research (Answered)

Fiona Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much Government funding was allocated to research into therapies using embryonic stem cells in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and how much such funding will be so allocated in the next five years.

George Freeman

The following table shows estimated expenditure by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) through its research programmes, research centres and units, and research fellowships on research relating to therapies using embryonic stem cells and therapies using stem cells from non-embryonic sources.

£ million

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Embryonic

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

Non-embryonic

4.2

4.5

4.9

4.0

Comparable data for 2010/11 are not available. Total spend by the NIHR on these topics is higher than the figures shown because expenditure by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) on stem cell therapies cannot be disaggregated from total CRN expenditure.

Total spend in future years by the NIHR on these topics depends on the volume and quality of scientific activity. The usual practice of the NIHR is not to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics: research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including stem cell therapies. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and the National Health Service, value for money and scientific quality.

The Research Councils are unable to extract data related specifically to stem cell therapies. The spend data below includes all direct stem cell research.

£ 000s

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Embryonic

2,979

3,508

3,160

2,513

2,323

Non-embryonic

7,936

8,319

7,489

8,575

8,034

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Embryonic

216

0

158

232

351

Non-embryonic

15,074

17,634

16,420

13,568

13,844

Medical Research Council (MRC)

Embryonic

7,639

6,886

6,190

5,189

n/a

Non-embryonic

17,504

19,900

19,831

22,207

n/a

Embryonic and non-embryonic

12,790

12,361

17,986

27,241

n/a

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

Non-embryonic

0

0

0

9

18

Notes

- BBSRC data in the ‘non-embryonic’ category covers research involving adult stem cells, including research relating to foetal, cord blood and induced Pluripotent Stem cells (iPS), both adult and embryonic stem cells, where the research is generic or where the cell type is not defined. This category also includes the BBSRC contribution to the UK National Stem Cell Network, Stem Cells for Safer Medicine Ltd and MRC Stem Cell Bank.

- BBSRC figures for 2014/15 are incomplete and include forecast spend for strategic institute programme grants, rather than actual spend in this year.

- BBSRC figures exclude the ‘routine’ use of mouse embryonic stem cell lines to generate transgenic mice, unless for the purpose of studying some aspect of stem cell biology.

- MRC data for 2014/15 is currently unavailable.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has not invested any direct funding in this area. However, in relation to stem cell research and legal implications the AHRC has invested £50,000 since 2012.

The Cell Therapy Catapult, which was established in 2012, has received the following funding.

£ 000s

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Embryonic

0

200

0

Non-embryonic

4,944

16,518

12,750

The commitment to the Cell Therapy Catapult going forward up to 2018/19 will be £10 million per annum. This will, however, be across all areas and has not been separated out into different cell type categories.

At Budget 2014 the Cell Therapy Catapult was allocated £34 million for the establishment of a Cell Manufacturing centre. The nature of cells being manufactured has not been decided yet so may involve stem cells.

Innovate UK has committed the following funding.

£ 000s

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Embryonic

674

25

120

200

90

Non-embryonic

2,142

2,589

199

3,339

3,526

Funding to Innovate UK for future years will be subject to the spending review.