CEO Update - 8 July 2024

Europe’s largest Series A biotech spin-out this year

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.

The round was co-led by Novo Holdings and Abingworth, with additional new investors British Patient CapitalCancer Research Horizons and Eli Lilly and Company participating alongside founding investors Brandon Capital and Sofinnova Partners. With this significant funding, Myricx now has the resources to transition from a virtual company to a fully-fledged R&D company. They will establish their own laboratories, build an in-house R&D team, and expand their management capability.

It's just the type of economic growth story the incoming Labour government has put at the heart of its policy programme and shows how with productive finance available UK life sciences can compete internationally in a growth industry of the future.

UK General Election

General Election - new government

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The new UK government is forming this week following Labour’s landslide victory at the General Election last week. New Prime Minister Kier Starmer has appointed his cabinet, with all the key roles going to those we had expected. I’ve already written to Rachel Reeves, the new Chancellor, Wes Streeting, the new Health Secretary, and Peter Kyle, the new Science Secretary.

One very welcome surprise appointment is Sir Patrick Vallance as the new Science Minister in the House of Lords. We know him well, having worked closely with him in his role as Chief Scientific Advisor to government during the pandemic and on setting up the Vaccine Taskforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The incoming Labour government has been elected with a clear mandate to prioritise economic growth and its manifesto identified the life sciences sector as a great British industry primed to deliver it.

The Labour Party’s life sciences sector plan, published in February, lays the groundwork for a new life sciences strategy. Addressing the chronic underinvestment by the UK pension industry in start-ups and scale-ups, and fine-tuning the tax system to support innovation-led growth, will be the first orders of business.

New Parliament

Parliament is reconvening this week with 334 new MPs out of the 653 elected. Among them is a fantastic cohort of scientifically engaged individuals, including biomedical researchers and biotech leaders, who are now taking their places on the green benches in the Palace of Westminster. Their knowledge and understanding of innovation will be crucial as the UK navigates a new global era where science and innovation will determine its economic and social progress.

This significant changing of the political guard means many familiar faces are no longer in Parliament, and we now have a whole new cadre of MPs to engage with. If you know any of the new parliamentarians and think they may be interested in life sciences, we’d love to hear about your connections as we plan our Parliament Day for November.

Join our webinar this Wednesday

We’ll aim to pull together our thoughts and insights on what the new government means for our sector for our webinar this Wednesday where we’ll go through in more detail who the key new players are and recap on their early utterances and stated priorities.

Nicola Baker Munton memorial service

The memorial service for the founder of Strategem IPM and longstanding BIA member Nicola Baker Munton is at 2 pm on Friday, 12 July at Lavenham Church in Suffolk (CO10 9SA). Nicola started Stratagem in 1999 after identifying a need for in-house-style IP advice to early-stage biotech companies. Nicola’s family ask anyone coming to send a message to [email protected] so they have an idea of numbers. 

BIA Summer party

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at the premier event of the UK life science summer scene, the BIA Summer Party, this Thursday at 7 pm. It’s set to be a fantastic event, and with the excellent space at the Langham Hotel, it will be great regardless of the weather.

 

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Steve Bates OBE
CEO, BioIndustry Association

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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.

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