BIA reaches 600 member companies, announces new board and leadership restructure 

The UK’s innovative trade association for life science and biotech companies, BioIndustry Association (BIA), today announces that it has reached 600 companies in membership for the first time ever, alongside new Board and staff appointments for 2024.  

Reaching new heights 

The 600th member company to join BIA is Exscientia, a precision medicine company using artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise the discovery and development of new drug candidates. Exscientia is a UK life science scale-up success story, founded by Professor Andrew Hopkins CBE FRS FMedSci (who has been awarded a CBE in 2024 New Year Honours list) with fellow innovators in 2012 as a spinout from Dundee University. Early Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funding proved crucial to demonstrating the potential and practicality of using AI-led approaches and underpinned Exscientia’s formation and early development. In October 2021, Exscientia was floated on the Nasdaq stock market, raising $510 million, the largest initial public offering for a European biotech ever. From small beginnings, with just five staff, Exscientia now employs over 400 people. Headquartered in England at the Oxford Science Park, Exscientia has a diverse global team with offices and labs in Scotland, Austria and the US. 

BIA Board and team strengthened for future growth 

The BIA has grown to be a vibrant Association of over 600 member companies with more networking, bigger conferences, and events than ever before. More information on what the Association does for its members and key moments of 2023 can be found at the year in numbers, alongside the video highlights and recent publications including the Genomic Nation 2023, mRNA revolution: a new generation of medicine and TechBio 2023: UK driving the AI revolution reports.  

As a member-owned not-for-profit, BIA member companies choose Board members through an annual election. The new representatives joining the BIA Board this month for a three-year term are Ros Deegan, CEO of OMass Therapeutics, Shaun Grady, SVP Business Development Operations at AstraZeneca and Laura Lane, Vice President, Lilly Ventures (Head of Europe) of Eli Lilly and Company adding to the considerable industry expertise that the BIA Board can draw on. 

Furthermore, Daniel Mahony, Chair of the BIA Board has taken on a new role, joining the Novo Growth Investments team at Novo Holdings as Senior Partner. Based in London, Dan will lead their growth initiatives in Europe in close collaboration with the team in San Francisco. In addition to his role as Chair of our Association, Dan will continue as a Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the UK Government’s Life Sciences Envoy.  

Following an internal restructuring in the BIA’s professional team, Steve Bates as CEO is taking on a more external focus, having completed his tenure as Entrepreneur in Residence at Oxford University. Jane Wall was promoted to Managing Director with a remit to drive the Association's strategic growth. Nick Gardiner, Chief Operating Officer completes the senior leadership team.  

Further changes as part of the restructuring of the Association is a new layer of leadership, reporting to Jane, in core strategic areas of Influence, Membership and Marketing/ Engagement. Internally promoted to these roles are Alina O’Keeffe, as Associate Director, Marketing and Communications, Michael McGivern, as Associate Director, Membership and Business Development and Martin Turner, as Associate Director, Policy, Public Affairs and Investor Relations. Also, Sam Care will be Head of Events, also reporting to the Managing Director. 

2024 promises more impact and collaboration 

Also new for 2024 is the BIA charity partnership with RNID, the national charity supporting the 12 million people in the UK who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus. The BIA will support RNID through strategic opportunities and fundraising activities over the next 12 months. The partnership will be formally launched at the BIA’s Gala Dinner on Thursday, 25 January 2024. 

The BIA’s event calendar for 2024 is being updated with save the dates for key events like the Life Science Leadership Summit, the BIA Summer Party, the TechBioUK conference and the Future of UK Regulation Conference as well as key regional events. Since nearly all BIA events sold out in advance last year early booking is advised and best done via our website.  

Dr Dan Mahony, Chair of the BIA Board, said: “The BIA Board does a first-rate job of representing the membership and providing strategic guidance for the Association, which is continuing to grow and develop in 2024. It’s vital this year that we ensure the UK life science sector benefits from the changing approach to investment we are seeing from the UK Pension industry and that we are well prepared ahead of any changes the UK General Election may bring.” 

Steve Bates, CEO of the BIA said: “It’s fantastic to see the growth of our Association to over 600 members through 2023. I’m delighted that we have been able to develop and promote our talented team at the BIA delivering for members on influence, connection, and business solutions. We are well set to respond with agility to whatever 2024 throws at our sector – whilst at the same time developing the core strategic priorities of our membership.”  


Note to editors 

For more information, contact Alina O’Keeffe, Associate Director, Marketing and Communications, BIA on [email protected].


About Exscientia 

Exscientia is an AI-driven precision medicine company committed to discovering, designing, and developing the best possible drugs in the fastest and most effective manner. Exscientia developed the first-ever functional precision oncology platform to successfully guide treatment selection and improve patient outcomes in a prospective interventional clinical study, as well as to progress AI-designed small molecules into the clinical setting. Our internal pipeline is focused on leveraging our precision medicine platform in oncology, while our partnered pipeline broadens our approach to other therapeutic areas. By pioneering a new approach to medicine creation, we believe the best ideas of science can rapidly become the best medicines for patients.

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