BIA welcomes government’s new Life Sciences Sector Vision

The Life Sciences Sector Vision brings together the collective ambition of the Government and the sector for the UK to be the leading global location for the life sciences businesses to innovate, grow and deliver breakthroughs to patients and the public in all parts of the UK.

The Vision sets to build on the UK’s world leading biotech and life sciences sector, harnessing the UK’s advantages in genomics, data and research, as well as building on the UK’s world-leading response to the COVID-19 pandemic in vaccines development and manufacturing, therapies and diagnostics.

The BIA’s recommendation for a Life Science Scale Up Taskforce will be taken forward through the Vision. It will develop recommendations on issues that inhibit scale-up and growth, as well as the recommendations of the Bank of England’s Productive Finance Working Group, due to report later this year, in the context of the life sciences industry.

This is the first sector vision announced by the Boris Johnson Government, recognising the strategic and economic value that the UK biotech sector brings to the economy and patients. Recent data from the BIA shows the immense confidence in the sector by predominantly international investors with the highest quarter for investment into UK biotech and life sciences companies ever recorded.

Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BIA and former member of the Vaccine Taskforce said: “The BIA’s focus will be to increase the expert pool of UK based capital needed for innovative UK life science firms to grow to scale. This will enable UK investors and pension savers, to secure the economic benefit from this burgeoning golden age for UK life sciences while at the same time enabling NHS patients to secure the health benefit of global biotech innovation.” 

“The £200m Life Sciences Investment Programme is very welcome and is expected to leverage a further £400m private capital, and has already proved persuasive to attract the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala to invest £800m in UK life sciences. Access to capital to scale at pace in the UK remains the key constraint in the funding landscape for UK life science companies. The Life Sciences Investment Programme alone is not enough to address the scale-up challenge for life sciences but it shows very positive intent from the Government that we hope will bring in new UK-based investors into the sector.”

“I am pleased that the Vision identifies four preconditions for success which must be met over the next decade, giving industry and government clear goals. Working together, we must simplify the governance and oversight of NHS health data, make the NHS an Innovation Partner, increase UK R&D spend and broaden UK access to finance to scale at pace to deliver this rightly ambitious vision.”

David Atkins, CEO of Congenica and SME representative on the National Genomics Board, said: “The UK is a world leader in genomics, a position that has been strengthened through the vital role that we’ve played in the global efforts to tackle COVID-19, including sequencing viral and COVID patient genomes and the early detection and monitoring of significant viral variants.

“It is highly encouraging to see the Government recognising the game-changing potential of genomics. Increasing levels of investment will drive further innovation, enabling UK companies and organisations to continue pushing the boundaries of our understanding of the human genome. Importantly, we are now in an era of genomic discovery that can provide clinicians with actionable insights to help diagnose and treat patients. This is bringing a fundamental shift in the delivery of life-changing therapies to patients as clinical genomics becomes more widely incorporated into routine clinical care.”

 

ENDS

1. Notes to Editors, please contact Jack Fellows for further information and interview opportunities at jfellows@bioindustry.org

2. To read the Life Sciences Vision, please follow this link.  

2. To read the exciting developments taking place in UK genomics, please follow this link.

3. To read the BIA’s latest investment data for the sector, please follow this link.

4. To read the BIA’s role in COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing, please follow this link.