SIAC was set up to identify and build on evolving science trends in the biotech industry that can give the UK competitive advantage.

The aims of the committee are to:

  • Influence the policy of government and funders of UK science and technology through proactive engagement with key stakeholders to the benefit of UK life science companies
  • Encourage active networking between BIA member companies to facilitate communication, collaboration and sharing of best practice for mutual benefit
  • Improve translational science through more effective interaction between the academic research community, TTOs and BIA members
  • Address the identified science skills shortage in UK life sciences

2020 priorities


  • Continue engagement with CSO & CMO communities and with UKRI and other funders
  • Christmas networking event


  • Support the formulation and delivery of ‘Big Idea’ proposal to establish the UK as a global leader in the Manufacturing, Digital and Analytical sciences for advanced biological products (ATMPs, advanced biologics and vaccines), aligning with other complementary funding proposals
  • Design and deliver a Workshop  - ‘How can biotech SMEs best benefit from the revolution in the digital sciences?’

Expert advice:

  • Influence relevant areas of science policy as Life Science Industrial Strategy and Sector Deals emerge, e.g. long-term funding environment and clinical trials
  • Support the BIA's Comprehensive Spending Review activities, including position on potential new post-Brexit funding ecosystem
  • Engage with UKRI and champion life sciences support post 2019 election and Brexit

Committee Chair: Dr Mark Carver

For more information contact Netty England, Bioprocessing Consultant

New Science - Future Gazing

Each meeting, one of the committee volunteers to lead discussions around a piece of cutting edge science. Peter Simpson, Chief Scientific Officer at the Medicines Discovery Catapult kicked off the first in the series entitled Smelling the disease - Nosing our way towards earlier diagnosis and new biomarkers. If you would like to hear more about how 'super-smeller' Joy Milne can identify individuals with Parkinson's disease or giant rats in Tanzania are able to detect TB from sniffing sputum then take a look at the blog.

Bench to Bedside webinars

SIAC are delivering a series of webinars in 2019 entitled ‘Bench to Bedside’. The content has been proposed by industry and will explore the drug discovery process from discovery to delivery. The series will be concluded with a panel session at our UK Bioscience Forum on 17 October entitled Bench to bedside: preclinical considerations for advanced therapies.

The four episodes are:

  1. Walking the critical path - enhancing probability of success - This webinar discussed the critical path from discovery to market with an emphasis on strategies which can enhance potential for success. Presenter Dr Penny Ward, CMO Virion Biotherapeutics Ltd - June 2019
  2. Harnessing ‘Omics - this webinar covered the range of ‘omic’ investigations used to elucidate disease pathways and their use in drug discovery and development. Presented by Tarik Mughal, Professor and Consultant in Haematology and Medical Oncology - July 2019.
  3. What Translational Science Can and Cannot Do - this webinar reviewed progress in translational science and its contribution to drug discovery and development and consider needs for further research. Presented by Dr Glen Clack, Aptus Clinical – 6 September 2019
  4. From Biomarker to Surrogate - this webinar will review the development of biomarkers for use in clinical development and for product registration. Presenter Dr Penny Ward, CMO Virion Biotherapeutics Ltd – 11 October 2019

Shaping the future: What areas of science are most important to UK bioindustry?

With the formation of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in April 2018 and the reorganisation of the UK’s science funding system, SIAC led a ‘Shaping the future’ workstream throughout 2018 to identify those areas of science that are most critical to the ongoing success of our industry. This paper summarises the conclusions and recommendations reached throughout the workstream. As a member-driven paper, it represents a snapshot of expert views from across the whole sector. As we move into the 2019 Spending Review and the UK’s new science funding system takes shape, this will contribute to the BIA’s engagement activities with the UKRI and other funding bodies. 

Technology Transfer

SIAC brought together representatives from across the biotech/healthcare community to discuss technology transfer.  This followed the recent Dowling Report, and also the evidence given and the subsequent report by the House of Commons Science and Select Committee on managing academic intellectual property.  The BIA’s intention is to address some of the issues highlighted, such as friction around IP licencing, by bringing together all the relevant parties, and encouraging open dialogue.  

The Patient is waiting workshop

SIAC and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (FPM) brought together representatives from Biotech, Pharma, the MHRA, Academia and Medical Charities in April 2017 to discuss strategic options for expediting clinical research. The combined experience of the workshop attendees from across the biotech/healthcare community reinforces the fact that the United Kingdom remains an extremely attractive region in which to conduct the clinical development of new treatments modalities; both early and late phase - read the workshop summary for further details.

Chief Medical Officer Summit

The BIA Chief Medical Officer Summit was a new event held in early March 2018 aimed at supporting the skills required to be a CMO in an SME. Here, Dr Penny Ward,  vice-Chair of the BIA SIAC, takes a look at some of the highlights from the day.


One of SIAC's roles is to input into relevant consulations including NHS England's consultation on clinical research 

Member list

Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, University College London

The Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineeering hosts the MBI® Modular Training Programme for the Bioindustries.


Albumedix helps biopharmaceutical companies improve patient outcomes with a range of albumin-based products and technologies that facilitate the development of superior biotherapeutics.

Aptus Clinical Limited

Aptus Clinical is a specialist UK- based oncology CRO, committed to partnering with clients to transform their promising molecules into valued medicines.

Astex Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Astex Pharmaceuticals is using an innovative, fragment-based drug discovery platform, Pyramid™, to identify and develop new medicines, primarily for the treatment of cancer.

Autolus Ltd

Autolus is biotechnology company focussed on the development and commercialisation of engineered T-cell therapies for haematological and solid tumours.

Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult was established in 2012 as an independent centre of excellence to advance the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry, by bridging the gap between scientific research and full-scale commercialisation.

CellCentric Ltd

CellCentric is a drug discovery company focused on epigenetics, a major new area for novel small molecule therapeutics. The company is pursuing novel treatments for prostate, breast and amongst other cancers.

Censo Biotechnologies Ltd

Censo is a leading producer/user of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) and their derivatives for drug discovery.

Cobra Biologics

Cobra provides a comprehensive biopharmaceuticals service offering, with multi-functional project teams nurturing products from pre-clinical to commercial scale GMP manufacture.


Diurnal is a UK-based speciality pharmaceutical company developing high quality products for the life-long treatment of chronic endocrine conditions.

D Young & Co

D Young & Co is a leading top-tier European intellectual property firm, dedicated to protecting and enforcing our clients’ IP rights. For over 125 years we’ve been applying our world-class expertise to take ideas, products and services further.


GSK is a global pharmaceutical company dedicated to helping people feel better, do more and live longer.

Heptares Therapeutics Ltd

Heptares is a pioneer in the discovery of new medicines targeting G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a super-family of proteins linked to many human diseases.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

Ipsen Biologics

Ipsen is a global specialty-driven pharmaceutical company with total sales exceeding €1.1 billion in 2010

Karus Therapeutics Ltd

Karus is an emerging pharmaceutical company whose R&D activities are focused on the design and development of innovative, molecular-targeted, small molecule drugs to treat immune/inflammatory disorders and cancer.

Leaf Expression Systems

Leaf Expression Systems is a manufacturing and contract development business specialising in the plant-based expression and production of proteins, metabolites, virus-like particles and complex natural products for research and bio-medical applications


LGC is an international science-based company and market leader in analytical, forensic, biotechnology, diagnostic and product services and reference standards.


LifeArc is the new name for MRC Technology, a medical research charity with a 25 year legacy of helping scientists and organisations turn their research into treatments and diagnostics for patients.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a leading postgraduate institution worldwide for research and postgraduate education in public and global health. Part of the University of London, the London School is the largest institution of its kind in Europe with a remarkable depth and breadth of expertise encompassing many disciplines. It is one of the highest-rated research institutions in the UK.

Medicines Discovery Catapult

The Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) is the centre of national, independent expertise for the discovery and proof of new medicines.

Medical Research Council

Mission-focused, carrying out ground-breaking research including innovative methodology and technology development.


The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) is an independent scientific organisation. Tasked by Government, the NC3Rs supports the UK science base by driving and funding innovation and technological developments that replace or reduce the need for animals in research and testing, and lead to improvements in welfare where animals continue to be used. The Centre promotes robust and ethical scientific practice through collaborating with research funders, academia, industry, regulators and animal welfare organisations, both in the UK and internationally. The NC3Rs is supported primarily by Government, but also receives funding from the charitable and industrial sectors. It has an annual budget of approximately £6.1 million and is the UK’s major funder of 3Rs research. Further information about NC3Rs activities and programmes can be found at

Oxford BioMedica plc

Oxford BioMedica plc (LSE: OXB) is a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative gene-based medicines and therapeutic vaccines that aim to improve the lives of patients with high unmet medical needs.

Pall Life Sciences

Pall Corporation (NYSE:PLL) is a global leader in the high-tech filtration, separation and purification industry. We’ve become an industry leader by helping a diverse range of customers solve complex fluid management challenges.

Penningtons Manches

A forward-thinking commercial and private client law firm delivering imaginative and incisive advice – both in the UK and internationally. From cross-border technology transfer agreements to sophisticated tax affairs, our solicitors have the expertise to achieve results.

Pinsent Masons

Pinsent Masons is a full-services law firm with offices across the UK, Europe and Asia offering the very highest level of market intelligence and experience.

Sixfold Bioscience

Sixfold Bioscience unlocks the promise of cell and gene therapeutics by building targeted drug delivery systems.


SynDermix is a Swiss developer of innovative health technologies that focuses on the development of effective and safe treatments that meaningfully respect patient convenience and address important unmet medical needs.


Global leaders in synthetic promoter construction for customised gene regulation and protein expression in all biotechnology applications.

TBAT Innovation

To be the first choice provider of innovation support for technology R&D organisations throughout the UK; accessing funding, R&D tax credits and evaluating market and technology opportunities through a professional, honest and vibrant service which delivers consistent success" TBAT Innovation specialises in assisting its clients to access funds through numerous sources. This includes: - Grant funding through UK and EU programmes - R&D tax credits through HMRC - A range of additional sources of funding to enable growth through private investors, venture capital and business loans TBAT Innovation is currently a team of 16 employees and continually growing. Within the team there is experience across numerous technologies and industry sectors including health, genetics, sensors, photonics, electronics, advanced materials, aerospace and transport amongst others. Over the last 12 months the team has assisted clients in accessing over £20m in grant funding through UK and EU grant sources. Success rates over grant funding competitions has constantly been over 75% over the last 3 years. In addition, TBAT has assisted clients in accessing over £8m in R&D Tax Credits benefits through HMRC and our success rate for claims is 100%. In parallel to this, the team has over 10 years’ experience of positioning, reviewing and structuring private investment deals.

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific is the world leader in serving science, with revenues of more than $20 billion and approximately 70,000 employees globally. Our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. We help our customers accelerate life sciences research, solve complex analytical challenges, improve patient diagnostics, deliver medicines to market and increase laboratory productivity. Through our premier brands – Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific and Unity Lab Services – we offer an unmatched combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and comprehensive services.

Trio Medicines

Trio Medicines is a pharmaceutical company, a subsidiary of Hammersmith Medicines Research (HMR), a clinical research organisation founded in 1993.


A global biopharma focused on severe diseases with operations in more than 40 countries and global revenue of € 3.2 billion in 2010.

University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham is a pioneering university. A place where world-leading research transforms lives and shapes the future.

University of Southampton

The University of Southampton is one of the world's leading entrepreneurial and research universities, with an impressive track record as a partner to business and as a source of invention and innovation. We are a dynamic, international community dedicated to scholarship, discovery and enterprise. We have a focused and managed research strategy and are intent on maximising clinical translation from the highest quality basic biomedical research. The University has a unique commitment to innovation, which is evidenced both in our outstanding research, entrepreneurial culture and also in our ability to pioneer new approaches and techniques relevant to the world today. As a University we support the world-class research of our academics by focusing on its impact on national and global economies and society. We develop and maintain relationships with external partners and help exploit our research outputs for the benefit of society. The University has a 40-year history of collaborating with industry. Our list of business partners includes Airbus, QinetiQ, IBM,Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, Luxfer, DePuy, Abbott, GSK, Lloyds Register, RNLI, Philips, Vitacress, Microsoft and Eli Lilly. Around 40 per cent of UK funded research at Southampton is financed by industry and public sector organisations. Our researchers work with all types of business to assist in developing new products and innovative processes and our partners can gain access to government and EU research funding.

Valirx Plc

Valirx wants to make a structural change in science, namely to engineer a scientific breakthrough into human health and wellbeing, through early detection of disease and therapeutic intervention.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

The mission of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is to use genome sequences to improve human health by advancing understanding of the biology of humans and pathogens.