CEO Update | Monday 3 June 2019

To paraphrase Brian Friel: Philadelphia, here we come! This week the BIA is attending the BIO International Convention In Philadelphia from 3-6 June, the largest global event for the biotechnology industry. We’re delighted to use this global opportunity to celebrate the UK as the third largest global biotech cluster. Some recent UK success stories we will be championing include Syncona’s new venture into cell therapy treatments, LifeArc’s £1bn windfall from the sale of its royalty interest in Keytruda, and our own finance report from 2018, Confident capital: backing UK biotech, which showed that 2018 was a record breaking year for biotech investment in the UK.

In other BIA events news, make sure to register for our June Brexit Briefing Webinar here. The pace at which Brexit news moves appears to be accelerating by the day, but if you would like to catch up on previous BIA Brexit webinars, you can check out our podcast here or our YouTube channel. Our summer reception is drawing closer, be sure to book your tickets if you would like to join us for some brilliant networking at the iconic London Bridge.

Despite events in Madrid over the weekend, I remain convinced that biotech, not football, remains the UK’s most exciting export. I’m thrilled to see the UK highlighted yet again as the biotech champion in Europe, this time in a Mckinsey & Company report launched at BioEquity in  Barcelona to mark the 20th anniversary of the conference. The report is a treasure trove of data and analysis on the European sector, from therapeutics hotspots to drug approval rates. It also shows that 35% of biotechs founded in Europe since 2012 come from the UK, and financing in the UK has increased by 2.5x, more than any other country.  I can assure you that the scenes in the BIA office are every bit as jubilant as in Liverpool.    

And what a year 2019 is for Liverpool – winning the UEFA Champions League Final this weekend and hosting the 16th Annual bioProcessUK Conference - Bioprocessing in the digital age later in the year! The conference will take place on 27-28 November and we have a great line-up of speakers already confirmed. There is still some space available in the exhibition – we do hope you can join us. Registration is open - please contact Netty England if you would like any further details on supporter packages.

Are you interested in taking a more active role in guiding the UK’s research and innovation policy? Well, three opportunities have just opened up: UKRI is looking for two non-executive directors to sit on their Board and Innovate UK is looking for a new Executive Chair to head up the organisation. These are great opportunities for leading figures from our sector to have a direct say on how the Government invests in science; I’d strongly encourage members to apply. The deadline for all three positions is 28 June.