Coeliac UK and Innovate UK announce funding boost for coeliac disease
Innovate UK and Coeliac UK have announced a £750,000 boost to research that could solve gluten-related issues, helping those who have to live gluten-free.
Coeliac UK has combined forces with Innovate UK to drive improvements worth £750,000 in the food technology, diagnostics and digital care industries to provide help for people who need to live gluten free.
The funding will support projects based in Birmingham, Newcastle and Edinburgh and is part of Innovate UK’s partnership with the third sector on health research projects, aiming to bring direct benefits to both patients and UK businesses.
The three projects include a new test to provide a less invasive way of diagnosing coeliac disease, the development of three new plant proteins to help improve the ingredients used in gluten-free bread, and software innovation to help in the ongoing management of coeliac disease.
Sarah Sleet, chief executive of the charity, said of the projects: “This new research to create a different diagnostic test could help unlock a worldwide problem for millions of people without a proper diagnosis of coeliac disease, while the research on innovative gluten free ingredients will keep the UK ahead in the food industry’s expansion into gluten free.
“Meanwhile our third funded project could offer real savings to the NHS in the management of the lifelong autoimmune condition that is coeliac disease providing a service model for the many other chronic long term conditions in the UK.”
Dr Kath Mackay, Director of Ageing Society, Health and Nutrition at Innovate UK, said: “Stimulating innovation in our food and health sectors are crucial components of the government’s industrial strategy. By working with Coeliac UK we will be able to offer funding that results in improved quality of life for people with this condition and support and stimulate our vibrant health care and food technology sectors.”
Coeliac disease is an illness where the body’s immune system reacts to gluten found in food, making the body attack itself, and affects approximately 1 in 100 people in the UK.