CEO Update | 02 August 2021

Genomics Nation report

The BIA together with the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Medicines Discovery Catapult has launched a new report  Genomics Nation, showcasing the strength, breadth and opportunity in the UK’s genomics sector.

The UK’s genomics sector carries a rich legacy and the report shows that the sector is at the forefront of the development of new genomic technologies and its growth is driven by a thriving community of entrepreneurs, scaling SMEs, global companies and an active investor base. The sector is supported by academic excellence at scale, research institutes, the NHS, government, and unique data resources such as the UK Biobank and Genomics England.

It’s been great to partner with the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Medicines Discovery Catapult on this key project, which aims to inform and excite potential new investors and policymakers who are central to the ongoing growth of genomics in the UK. The full report can be downloaded here and please listen to and share on socials Kate Bingham’s thoughts on the opportunities that UK genomics offer here.

Annual Life Science Competitiveness report published

The Office for Life Sciences has published its annual report on the UK’s performance in the life sciences sector and its position in global rankings. The report notes that the UK has been at the forefront of global COVID-19 research and the growth of a domestic diagnostics industry that is now sequencing emerging viral variants. It also found that the UK was the ninth largest exporter of pharmaceutical goods and third for the number employed in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals among the comparator groups. These long-term data sets are a vital, if somewhat backward looking resource to ground discussion on our industry’s development with government in data. The effects of the last two years of biotech investment and the pandemic are not yet reflected in the dataset.  

HealthTec Cluster 5th Anniversary Event

It was fantastic to join colleagues from across the sector in person at the HealthTec Cluster 5th Anniversary event taking place at the Harwell campus. Attendees heard keynote addresses from Minister Nadhim Zahawi and Professor Sir John Bell. Numbers had to be limited for COVID-19 reasons but the event is available to watch by following this link.

LifeArc and the Motor Neurone Disease Association sponsor a promising University of Sheffield gene therapy programme

Fantastic to see that Life Arc and the Motor Neurone Disease Association have awarded £513,141 to test the feasibility and efficiency of an ambitious gene therapy programme to treat motor neurone disease (MND) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) patients with underlying mutations. The research programme will be carried out by the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, and more details can be found here.

Discovery Park Reactor launches to drive development of life sciences firms

Discovery Park has announced the launch of its first Reactor programme to drive the development of life sciences firms in the UK. The Discovery Park Reactor data-driven approach will allow companies to better understand their individual priorities and needs, and how to allocate resources. Equating to around £15,000 of consultancy per team, the programme includes support from leading life sciences mentors. More details and how to apply can be found here.

Nanosyrinx raises £6.2m

Nanosyrinx which is developing a new cell engineering tool for novel targeted therapeutic modalities, has raised a further £6.2m of seed financing. The company will use this investment to fully investigate the applications of its technology across a range of therapeutic indications and novel modalities. More details can be found here.

Synthace Unveils First Life Sciences R&D Cloud

Today Synthace has launched its the first life sciences R&D cloud that includes a no-code software platform addressing the largest barriers to innovation research and development (R&D) life scientists face today. More details on this exciting launch can be found here.