(Bloomberg) --

The U.K. government plans to increase funding for health-related research and development to 5 billion pounds ($6.9 billion) over the next three years, part of a package of measures that Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is set to announce at Wednesday’s Budget and Spending Review. 

The investment for health R&D will further rise to 2 billion pounds ($2.8 billion) per year by 2024, a 57% cash increase since before the pandemic, the government said in a statement Saturday. 

The funding will be used to tackle the country’s major health threats, including cancer, obesity and mental health. The government has also committed 33 million pounds to deploy new Covid-19 antivirals via a U.K.-wide trial. 

As part of the package, Genomics England, a company owned by the U.K. Department of Health & Social Care, will receive funding to support initiatives such as a national pilot of using genome sequencing in 100,000 newborns to detect rare diseases. 

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