CEO Update - 20 February 2024

BIA Committee Summit with over 200 members

I'm looking forward to the BIA Committee Summit this week. It will be great to see 200 members in Westminster at one of the most lively and insightful events we do each year. I know it's the volunteer expert army that gives the BIA its unique impact with government and it's always great to understand the committee's priorities and the ideas that arise from the intersection between committees at the event.

Congratulations to AstraZeneca on 25th anniversary

It was great to see the anniversary celebrations at the London Stock Exchange but it did make me think. I remember just how close AstraZeneca were to not making it to their 13th birthday a decade ago when Pfizer sought to acquire them. And it's also noticeable how few new IPOs from our life science sector have wrung the metaphorical bell at the London Stock Exchange in the last few years. Let's hope that as AstraZeneca approach their 50th birthday, they'll be able to be joined by many other life science companies that will have been listed on the London Stock Exchange in the next generation.

Diagnostic innovation piloted through MHRA

The final eight technologies for the new MHRA IDAP pilot scheme have been announced. The idea is to accelerate the development and transformative medical devices from proof of concept through to uptake in the NHS and is part of the £10 million government spending to pilot a wider program of work to accelerate access to medical technology. Take a look to see some of the novel testing apps and devices adopted by the scheme.

Call for Horizon innovators

It's good to see the UK government encouraging businesses and academics to work together with European colleagues to access Horizon Europe funding. We've continued to make sure BIA members are aware of these opportunities and I'm keen to understand what consortia members have joined or are considering forming, please let me know if you're availing yourself of this opportunity.

EPO significant departure from previous case law

Good news for patent applicants as the European Patent Office (EPO) in a new ruling has smoothed the way to obtaining patents in Europe (and the UK) with a new assumption that a “priority right” is valid. If you want to understand more, please read this excellent blog from Tom Leonard, Partner at Kilburn & Strode and member of BIA's Intellectual Property Advisory Committee (IPAC).

Nicola Baker Munton   

It's with great sadness that we heard of Nicola Baker Munton's passing last week. Nicola founded Stratagem IPM in 1999 to provide in-house-style IP advice to early-stage biotech companies, primarily around the Cambridge cluster. She was a member of BIA's IPAC for many years and a regular at our events, including providing valuable IP workshops for our members. I know she will be very much missed in our community. The Stratagem website has information about a memorial service and a book of memories.   

Steve Bates Headshot.png



Steve Bates OBE
CEO, BioIndustry Association

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