BIA welcomes announcement by Health Secretary that UK genomic capacity will support global fight against COVID-19 variants

Today Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, announced that the UK will offer its genomic capacity to sequence the full genetic code of the COVID-19 virus to scientists and governments around the world.

Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association (BIA) said:

“The rapid genetic sequencing and identification of new COVID-19 Variants that the New Variant Assessment Platform announced today promises not only to inform public health measures but is also the bedrock of novel vaccine discovery and development.  Life science companies in the UK look forward to sharing their industrial expertise and capability with Public Health England’s new platform enabling the UK innovation ecosystem to contribute scalable vaccine development to the globe. Immediate opportunities are likely to be in innovative mRNA platforms, rapidly adaptable to vaccines for potential future variants.  

The UK’s “triple helix” partnership approach between government, academia and industry has shown its worth in the rapid development and deployment of the Oxford/AZ vaccine and can do so again in this endeavour. The BIA looks forward to working with the UK government on its G7 Health agenda of genomics, global clinical trials, AMR and digital health in 2021, and showcasing the capacity of UK companies to support these important endeavours.”   

 

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. For more information please contact Shannon Quinney, Communications Executive at squinney@bioindustry.org or 07864 902930.

About the BIA 

Established over 25 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative life sciences in the UK. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives.