CEO Update - 29 January 2024

New BIA biotech financing report published  

Last week, we published our annual report looking at the state of financing in our sector. The headline figures are that UK biotechs secured £1.8 billion in equity financings in 2023, down only 9% from 2022. £1.25 billion was raised in venture capital in 2023, only a 6% decrease year-on-year, against a backdrop of a 43% reduction for all UK VC investment. That means that the UK retained its top spot in Europe, receiving 41% of total venture capital invested into biotechs across the region. For the first time, the report looks at the comparative collective share price of London-quoted UK biotechs versus other stock classes with some surprising results. Read the report at biotechfinance.org and let me know what you make of it and share it with colleagues and contacts. 

Key Labour Business Conference

I’m looking forward to attending the Labour Opposition’s business conference on Thursday. The sold-out event has been trailed as being the occasion where the party leadership, including Sir Keir Starmer, his Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, and the Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Trade, Jonathan Reynolds will unveil their City policy plans and showcase Labour’s offer to businesses. The event may also be where more details of how Labour plans to work with SMEs are revealed. Look out for a full briefing on what this all means for the life science sector in the coming weeks. 

Clive Dix gives evidence to the Parliamentary committee

The Covid public inquiry may have delayed its hearings into the operations of the UK Vaccine Taskforce (VTF) until 2024 but the science and innovation Parliamentary committee is still hearing evidence as part of its inquiry into emerging diseases and learnings from Covid. Last week Clive Dix, former BIA and VTF Chair, CEO of C4X Discovery, gave evidence before Parliament. 

In stark personal testimony, he said: "What I've seen since April 2021 is a complete demise of all the activities that made that thing work, literally gone. It's very sad, I actually get very passionate about it because what we have seen is a whole list of incompetent decisions being made and given the amount of effort we put in to see that just disappear. The Government believe mRNA vaccines are a golden bullet. There's a complacency there that really scares me now. Really scares me.” This was picked up in the media and the committee’s full report will be published once all the evidence sessions have finished.

New EuropaBio report on the impact of planned EU legislation on innovation

EuropaBio has launched their study of the ‘Impact of the General Pharmaceutical Legislation on Europe’s innovation eco-system and biotechnology companies’. This major work from Charles River Associates highlights how the long-term, high-risk nature of biotechnology innovation is negatively impacted by reduced and restricted incentives proposed by the EU. The BIA, as founder members of EuropaBio, will use this report as our evidence base throughout the EU legislative pathway to ensure that biotech innovation is protected at the national and EU levels. This recording of a hybrid panel from Euractiv ‘EU Pharmaceutical legislation, Europe’s biotech innovation in the balance?’ brings added analysis to the report. Please read and repost Europabio’s launch post on LinkedIn to spread the word.

Horizon Europe - UK government campaign to get applications

A new UK government campaign launched today encourages UK businesses, academics and researchers to apply for Horizon Europe funding. Horizon is the world’s largest programme of research collaboration, which the UK is a part of after the Prime Minister secured a bespoke deal, last year. The multi-channel campaign will include media partnerships, content on digital audio platforms (such as podcasts) and targeted digital media investments, focusing on paid social adverts on platforms regularly used by research professionals such as LinkedIn, and digital displays.

We at the BIA ensured members were aware of these opportunities via our promotion of the UK Research and Innovation webinar last year and by connecting those interested with the UK national contact points for advice on how to apply for Horizon Europe funding and how to form a consortium. I am keen to hear from members who are progressing applications, or considering this route to understand best how this is working for members.

Fabulous BIA Gala Dinner – thanks for making it so special

Thank you to everyone who played their part in making last week’s BIA Gala Dinner at the Roundhouse at Camden and biggest and best yet. Take a look at the photos from the evening and look out for the save-the-date announcement on the next Gala Dinner in 2025! 

Steve Bates Headshot.png

 

 

Steve Bates OBE
CEO, BioIndustry Association

More news and updates 

ImmuONE is celebrating triple triumph at the inspiring herts awards 2024

We’re proud to announce that ImmuONE took home the prestigious award for ‘Business of the Year – North Herts’, which was awarded to us for consistent growth, robust financial performance, and unwavering commitment to staff and innovation. From the pool of winners, there was also a special recognition category which honoured ImmuONE with the ‘Inspiring Business of the Year’ award for making the biggest innovation in Hertfordshire.

Cryoport systems officially launches global supply chain hub in Stevenage

Cryoport, Inc a global leader in innovative supply chain solutions for the cell and gene therapy industry, is thrilled to announce the official launch of the Cryoport Systems state-of-the-art Global Supply Chain Hub in Stevenage, U.K.

Microbiotica to present positive update on manufacturing progress of its live biotherapeutic products

Microbiotica, a biopharma company developing a pipeline of orally-delivered precision microbiome medicines announces that Adam Wilkinson, its Vice President of Pre-Clinical Development, will present an overview of the company’s successful product manufacturing campaigns ahead of its forthcoming melanoma and ulcerative colitis clinical studies at the 9th Microbiome Movement Drug Development Summit, on 11 July, in Boston, USA, together with Claire Derlot, CBO from its GMP manufacturing partner Biose Industrie.

Milner Institute celebrates success of 2024 Pitch Day and therapeutics symposium

The Milner Therapeutics Institute were delighted to host two sell-out events in Cambridge that brought academics, investors, pharma and biotech companies together.

CEO Update - 8 July 2024

It is a fantastic way to start the week with news of Europe’s largest Series A biotech spin-out this year from the UK. Congratulations to Myricx Bio, an Imperial College London and Francis Crick Institute spin-out company focusing on a novel class of payloads for antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), for announcing their Series A financing of £90 million.

Moa harvests global deal for new herbicide

Moa Technology has signed a major research and commercial agreement with Australian ag giant Nufarm. The deal will see Moa receiving receive upfront payments, milestone development payments and royalties in return for Nufarm gaining exclusive access to a product in one of Moa's breakthrough novel mode of action areas.

Brandon Capital's vision for a transcontinental life science axis

Jonathan Tobin, Partner at Brandon Capital, discusses the firm's recent close of its sixth fund at A$270 million, bringing its total assets under management to over A$1.25 billion. He also explores how Brandon Capital is strategically connecting Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.

Myricx Bio announces £90 million Series A financing to advance its novel NMTi-ADC therapeutics into clinical development

£90 million ($114 million) series A co-led by new leading life science investors Novo Holdings and Abingworth; additional new investors British Patient Capital, Cancer Research Horizons and Lilly participated alongside founding investors Brandon Capital and Sofinnova Partners.

PIR International interview with Anja Harmeier, CEO, Rewind Therapeutics

In this blog, PIR International presents an interview with Anja Harmeier, CEO of Rewind Therapeutics, as part of their BioLeader interview series.

NCIMB Ltd kicks off innovative enzyme technology development project

Aberdeen-based biotechnology company NCIMB has kicked-off a new research project to demonstrate novel enzyme technology with an exciting array of potential applications in the pharmaceutical, food & drink and environmental sectors.

Promising results from cardiac fibrosis studies with MRX1

Ananda Developments PLC, a clinical-stage life sciences company focused on the development of CBD based therapies for the treatment of a range of complex inflammatory pain conditions, is delighted to share promising results from recent preclinical studies investigating the efficacy of MRX1 (Patent Pending) in treating cardiac fibrosis and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

Valneva Scotland appoints science communications consultancy, Perceptive Communicators

Glasgow-based specialist communications consultancy, Perceptive Communicators, has announced its appointment to provide strategic communications services for Valneva Scotland.

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