CEO Update - 5 February 2024

BIA Board member Ros Deegan appointed to PM’s Business Council

Fantastic news that new BIA Board member Ros Deegan, CEO of OMass Therapeutics has been appointed by the Prime Minister to serve on his prestigious Business Council alongside some of the biggest names from across UK business. The council will have a regular meeting with the Prime Minister in Downing Street to share intelligence to help boost the UK economy and create jobs. The first meeting will take place this month.

Ros said: “Given healthcare and scientific innovation is so strong and important to the United Kingdom, I am excited to accept this invitation and look forward to working with the Government and contributing to discussions around our scale-up economy.” It’s great to see the voice of UK life science SMEs given a seat at this top table and we look forward to supporting Ros in this new role.

Life sciences central to Labour’s business agenda – new sector plan published

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The Labour Party used the occasion of its Business Conference 2024 at the Oval last week to publish “A Prescription for Growth, Labour’s Plan for the Life Science Sector”. This is a MUST READ DOCUMENT for our sector as it outlines the opposition's core approach to our sector.

The BIA organised a visit to Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst as a curtain raiser for the document last Tuesday and it was great to see Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Wes Streeting and Shadow Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Peter Kyle spending time to understand what makes our sector so exciting.

What is really pleasing with the document for our sector is the degree of stability of policy and the willingness of the Labour Party to build on what has worked in policy terms in recent years. Also welcome is the togetherness of the Labour front bench on this – it was remarkable to see that Keir Starmer, Rachel Reeves, Wes Streeting, Peter Kyle and Jonny Reynolds were all vocal and supportive of a document that they had all had a part in developing.

We will provide a full briefing to members of what is in this and other key Labour policy documents over the weeks ahead – with additional insight but the key message is that Labour has listened to business, developed a sensible and coherent platform and made life sciences a key pillar of their central growth plan for the economy.

My judgement is that this is the key Labour policy in our area that we should focus on between now and the election, and I am sure it will be avidly read by civil servants ahead of contract talks that happen before a General Election campaign.

Tibi touchpoint


I had the honour of meeting Professor Phillipe Tibi, Chair of the Tibi Initiative, in person at the French Ambassador’s residence in Kensington last week.

It was fascinating to see that the motivations underlying the work he has done for President Macron (to get French investment into scale-up productive finance) match those we have in the scale-up capital work we're doing in London.

Whilst the precise French policy recipe may only work in a Parisian context, I am sure there is a UK version of the same product is vital, and we are hard at work in the kitchen to blend the finest of UK pension money managers with the best of UK life science companies and money managers. More in the weeks ahead.


BIA recognized for public affairs excellence

More good news last week as we won the PRCA-PoliMonitor Public Affairs Awards for the Best In-house Campaign of the Year – beating many far larger and better-funded organisations to the trophy.

Many congratulations to the team of staff, committee leaders and members who have led the line on ensuring that the disastrous UK cuts to R&D tax credits imposed in Autumn 2022 for innovative SME companies were dispatched quickly in 2023. 

New Global Challenge

Global end-to-end partnering platform Inpart is shifting the focus of its Global Challenge programme to mobilise industry and academia around the commercialisation of new research working towards sustainably feeding growing global populations. The campaign will launch in March 2024.

Inpart is currently looking to recruit industry partners of choice who will inform the scope of the campaign. By joining, you’ll have the opportunity to have your team/company’s R&D requirements relating to agritech and sustainable food production define the narrative of the campaign, sourcing new research, experts, assets and potential partners for your R&D programmes. 

Your involvement in the campaign would be completely free of charge. By bringing onboard industry partners it allows Inpart to provide a clear pathway for new research in development across its academic network (currently 2,600+ universities and institutes worldwide). Please contact [email protected] or complete this short typefrom to register your interest. Previous partners have included Sanofi, PepsiCo, MSD, Dow, Eastman Chemical, and Mitsubishi Pharma, who we’ve worked with to move the dial on plastic pollution, water pollution, rare diseases and Covid-19. 


Steve Bates Headshot.png



Steve Bates OBE
CEO, BioIndustry Association

More news and updates 

RSSL announces new Biotech Innovation Hub

RSSL, a leading pharmaceutical contract research organisation, has today announced plans to launch its new Innovation Hub, a dedicated platform to help small- and medium-sized biotech organisations de-risk and accelerate the development of cutting-edge products.

Aleta Biotherapeutics and Cancer Research UK announce first patient dosed in ALETA-001 Phase 1/2 clinical trial

The Phase 1/2 clinical trial will evaluate safety, dose, PK/PD, and early efficacy signals of Aleta’s first-in-class biologic CAR T-cell engager, ALETA-001. ALETA-001 entering the clinic is a critical milestone toward treatment availability to improve CAR T-cell patient response when a complete response is not achieved or maintained.

UKHSA announced as first PACE collaboration to help tackle deadly antimicrobial resistance

Strategic partnership to support AMR innovators

CEO Update - 20 February 2024

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 at the intersection between committees that arise from the event.

Beyond health: why BIA is championing the biorevolution 

The BIA has named this frontier of science Deep Biotech. Our brand-new report, "Deep Biotech: Disruptive innovation for global sustainability" highlights how deep biotech is key to creating a sustainable UK bioeconomy and making the UK a science superpower that benefits all. 

PrecisionLife and Metrodora Institute partner to accelerate diagnosis of Long COVID

Rapid development and clinical validation of diagnostics that enable innovative clinical care pathways in complex, chronic diseases; targeted precision medicine clinical trials leveraging a complementary diagnostic approach are expected to readout results as early as this year

Optibrium enables collaborative design in its StarDrop platform

The new Idea Tracker capability further improves the efficiency of drug discovery by supporting project management, idea sharing and molecule design tracking.

Recent decision from the EPO smooths the way to obtaining patents in Europe

The BIA’s Intellectual Property Advisory Committee (IPAC) helps BIA understand and shape the environment for IP ownership to ensure strong protection for BIA member companies. Our EU policy subcommittee has taken a look at what a recent European decision means for the right to claim priority to an earlier filed patent application. This blog sets out some of the details of the case, and the practical implications for BIA members.​​​​​​​

BugBiome secures investment for pioneering research in sustainable pest protection

BugBiome raises £310,000 in pre-seed investment from Cambridge Angels and Discovery Park Ventures. Investment enables a £330,000 Engineering Biology Grant from Innovate UK for cutting-edge agri-tech research leveraging the microbiome and engineering biology approaches.

CEO Update - 12 February 2024

It was great to see the hugely positive response we’ve had to the launch of our new report "Deep Biotech: Disruptive innovation for global sustainability". I believe we're on the cusp of a biorevolution powered by Deep Biotech, and I want our Association at the forefront of shaping the future of Deep Biotech and championing its disruptive potential.

Study reveals POLB 001 could be a $10 billion game changer for cancer patients

Independent Research Confirms >$10bn Market Opportunity for POLB 001 as a Preventative Therapy for Cancer Immunotherapy-Induced Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS). Former Amryt Pharma team's arrival supports increasing focus upon Rare and Orphan Diseases

Enter the dragon: Exploring China’s life sciences market

Next week, Chinese people across the world will be celebrating Chinese New Year. This is the “year of the dragon”, a symbol of strength for the Chinese people. It also represents prosperity, a value Chinese strive for across aspects of life, society and business.

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