A Merseyside pharmaceutical company has applied for a £5.9m government grant to help it establish a cancer treatment research centre and create 250 jobs.
Redx Pharma based in Crown Street Liverpool has asked the government's Regional Growth Fund to help it finance a £39m "centre of excellence".
It said the cash would help it conduct early stage research into new drugs.
The project is backed by the city council, Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Cancer Research UK.
The grant will help it fund an initial two-year research project that will pave the way for the company's own shareholders and investors to contribute a further £33.2m over five years.
The company said that if the funding bid was successful the new centre, equipped with the latest chemistry, biochemistry and testing resources, would be operational by 2012.
Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, the city council's economic development company, said: "With the development of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and associated cluster of businesses, our city has the potential to become a world leader in bio sciences and the expansion of Redx would in itself be a powerful statement of intent in respect of the city's ambitions in this field.
"In addition to the pure economic and employment benefits, the project will help to ensure that a more effective supply of anti-cancer drugs will be brought to market much more quickly because of the drive and expertise of a UK-based company."
Dr Neil Murray, chief executive of Redx Pharma, said: "We share a vision with the city that life science has a major role to play in the development of Liverpool's future and we believe that our centre of excellence will create the critical mass necessary to create a step change in that strategy."