CEO Update | 11 October 2021

Celebrating £3bn of investment in the sector at the UK Bioscience Forum

A record £3 billion has been raised by our sector in the first three quarters of 2021 according to our latest data released today with Clarivate.

With £576m raised between June and the end of August, fundraising in 2021 has already surpassed the previous record year of 2020, when £2.8 billion was raised, with another three months of the year left to go.

This golden age of fundraising gives us the opportunity to become a key British industry of the 21st century, delivering prosperity through providing better treatments for patients. Crucial to this mission will be ensuring there is sufficient private and public market capital in the UK for companies to grow to scale long-term here in Britain. We want to combine welcome foreign investment with the capital and expertise of the UK finance sector to accelerate innovation and deliver returns for UK investors and savers.

We will be celebrating this news at our key autumn event the UK Bioscience Forum, the premier conference for the UK biotech and life sciences sector, at Glazier’s Hall, this Thursday. I’m delighted to announce that the new Science Minister George Freeman MP will be joining us as the conference focuses on a ‘new era of biotechnology’, with workshops and panels discussing the exciting innovations we are seeing in the UK sector. We will also hear from two fantastic keynote speakers, Indro Mukerjee, the new CEO of Innovate UK, and Jonathan Milner, founder of Abcam. Tickets are still available please follow this link for further details.

UK Life Sciences sector takes the stage at Conservative Party conference

Last week I joined the ‘injection of Hope’ panel at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, to discuss learnings and successes from the Government’s Vaccine Taskforce. It is an example of the high profile our sector is receiving at the moment that the Party in power wants to hear directly from our sector. I used the opportunity not only to talk about the work during the pandemic but also the importance of the long-term industrial strategy which preceded it - particularly historic investments in advanced therapies which meant the UK was in the advantageous position that it was to mobilise experts from across the ecosystem, to develop, manufacture and scale up COVID-19 vaccines.

The Prime Minister’s speech followed our panel during which he paid tribute to the work of companies to create COVID-19 vaccines. Boris Johnson emphasised the recent deal announced by Pfizer and Thermofisher, that Pfizer’s MRNA vaccine will be fill finished at Thermofisher’s Swindon site resulting in 200 extra jobs in the area.

BIA influence

There’s no such thing as a quiet summer for the BIA. You can read all about what we've been up to in our Q3 Influence report. Highlights include Parliament Day and our input to the Comprehensive Spending Review and Budget, which are taking place on 27 October. We also launched two reports on the UK’s genomics sector and the public’s attitude to rare disease medicines, and the work of the Scale-Up Taskforce got underway, with the first meeting with the Secretary of State for Business.

Board elections

Next Monday at noon is the deadline for voting in this year’s elections to the BIA Board. We are lucky as an Association to have such a high quality field of candidates as you can see from the candidates statements. If you haven’t taken the chance yet, please ensure your companies voice is heard. To see the ballot paper please follow this link.

Academy of Medical Sciences call to support COVID-19 database

The Academy of Medical is encouraging new project submissions to the Academy's COVID-19 preclinical drug development database.  To view the database please follow this link.