BIA and MHRA publish report following joint conference ‘Innovation in life sciences in a changing and dynamic environment’

The UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) brought together experts from across the sector to discuss some hot topics and important developments that are having an impact on the changing and dynamic UK life sciences ecosystem. Through a series of presentations, panel discussions and Q and A, key topics were debated and analysed including the Accelerated Access Review and the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, personalised medicines and companion diagnostics, the Priority Medicines (PRIME) scheme and the challenges posed to medicines regulation by Brexit.                 

The key note speakers for the seventh annual joint conference were Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, Lord O’Shaughnessy who provided the UK Government’s position to retain a close working partnership in respect of medicines regulation after the UK leaves the EU, in the interests of public health and safety, and Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, who outlined the challenges faced by the NHS, the opportunities for industry in the NHS Five Year Forward View and the patient’s role in promoting access to new medicines.              

The report summarises the presentations and perspectives from senior experts and leading speakers from MHRA, government, NHS England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the life science industry, academia, research charities and patient organisations.             

Commenting on the publication of the report, Alan Morrison, Chairman, BIA Regulatory Affairs Advisory Committee and Vice President, International Regulatory Affairs, MSD, said: “It is important not to lose sight of innovation when navigating this dynamic and changing environment. As the government continues with the Brexit negotiations this event provides an important forum for industry, regulators and all relevant stakeholders to come together to talk about the practicalities, challenges and opportunities around Brexit.

“It was particularly encouraging to have the minister at the conference and to offer a clear message to the life sciences sector.”            

Dr Ian Hudson, Chief Executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said: “It is a priority of the MHRA to support innovation across industry, SMEs, academia and healthcare, providing help to develop novel medicines, devices and manufacturing processes, through mechanisms such as the Early Access to Medicines Scheme and the MHRA Innovation Office. This annual conference is a fantastic opportunity for continuous dialogue and engagement between regulators, government and stakeholders across the life sciences ecosystem.”    

The full report can be downloaded here and you can also find the full programme and slide presentations for this year on the conference website.          

The full text of the speech given by Lord O’Shaughnessy on Brexit and medicines regulation at the BIA/MHRA Conference is available here.       


Notes to editors  

Media contacts 

BIA Communications Manager, Ed Sexton


Phone: 020 7630 2196 

MHRA News Centre


Phone: 020 3080 7651  

BioIndustry Association

Established in 1989, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the UK trade association for innovative bioscience enterprises. BIA members include emerging and more established bioscience companies, pharmaceutical companies, academic research and philanthropic organisations, and service providers to the UK bioscience sector.

Our members are responsible for over ninety per cent of biotechnology-derived medicines currently in clinical development in the UK and are at the forefront of innovative scientific developments targeting areas of unmet medical need. This innovation leads to better outcomes for patients, to the development of the knowledge-based economy and to economic growth. Many of our members are small, pre-revenue companies operating at the translation interface between academia and commercialisation.


Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is responsible for regulating all medicines and medical devices in the UK by ensuring they work and are acceptably safe. All our work is underpinned by robust and fact-based judgements to ensure that the benefits justify any risks. MHRA is a centre of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency which also includes the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) and the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). MHRA is an executive agency of the Department of Health.

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