NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Wellcome Trust today announced that it would increase its spending on biomedical research to nearly £4 billion ($7.86 billion) over the next five years.
The UK’s largest charity said that the increased funding — up from £2.5 billion over the last five years — would allow it to “respond flexibly to medical needs and scientific opportunities.”
The Trust said that a one-off additional spend of £500 million will be invested in large-scale biomedical projects worldwide including the next generation of large-scale genetic studies; major initiatives in neuroscience and mental health; a new medical center in London, called the UK Center for Medical Research and Innovation; the Health Innovation Challenge Fund, which is a partnership of the Department of Health and other programs to translate scientific discoveries into new treatments; and strengthening research capacity in Africa.
“This proposed extra spend will enable us to fund important research aimed at tackling some of the world’s major diseases,” Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, said in a statement.
The Wellcome Trust spent £520 million in 2006-2007. Among its accomplishments during that period was the publication of results from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium, the largest ever study of the genetics behind common diseases. Findings from the research included genes implicated in diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, and the first common gene linked to obesity.