The launch of our annual finance report: ‘Global and growing: UK biotech financing in 2019’ was well received by members and the media. The report shows that the UK biotech sector is heading into the new decade in a very strong position.
2019 was the third best year recorded by the BIA and the fifth consecutive year in which more than £1bn was raised. We have seen a drop in investment globally, across all countries and sectors but it’s clear that UK biotech companies remain an attractive investment opportunity for global investors.
After a week of big UK announcements at JP Morgan in San Francisco, I am delighted that the positive momentum for our sector will be sustained with the release of our annual biotech financing report later this week. I look forward to celebrating the report’s findings and our sector’s successes at the premier bioscience networking event of the year, the BIA annual Gala Dinner.
Right now, the NHS breast cancer screening programme saves around 1,300 lives in the UK each year.
But there are severe NHS staff shortages, particularly in the teams that help diagnose cancer, with some reports suggesting that up to 1 in 10 diagnostic posts are currently vacant. Throw in rising demand to the mix , and the future of these services could be in trouble.
As the New Year and new decade dawn, geo-politics has the capacity to fundamentally affect the fortunes of life sciences businesses. In my view, the five key areas of impact on our sector will be trade, competition, regulation, funding and access. It is vital that we retain a strong voice in policy debates about these key areas over the coming year to sustain an industry which has never had greater global visibility than it now does.
“You can’t improve what you can’t measure” – Management Guru Peter Drucker.
Research labs are no strangers to measurement – indeed, they are designed to measure inputs, outcomes and results, using some of the most advanced instruments in the world. But are today’s labs missing out on efficiency gains through lack of visibility of resource utilisation within the lab itself?
You may have read about the UK's ‘productivity puzzle’ in the business pages or heard references to it in the media. This is the phenomenon whereby UK productivity fell significantly in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, but while our peer nations such as USA and Germany quickly recovered, UK productivity has remained stubbornly and frustratingly low.
The definitive General Election result means that the UK biotech sector now has relative certainty on Brexit and the Government’s policy agenda, and more importantly its ability to deliver it. So, as we wrap things up for Christmas, we thought it would be a good time to look back at the General Election campaign, the outcome and what it means for our sector as we head into a new decade.
With Boris Johnson back in Number 10 with a promise to “get Brexit done”, the BIA will continue to work with government and industry partners to secure the UK’s position as a leading global hub for biotech – something the Conservatives promised in their General Election manifesto.
In 2013, GSK’s Malcolm Skingle, Chair of the Diamond Industrial Science Committee (DISCo) authored a very successful blog with the BIA highlighting the ways in which GSK makes use of the Diamond and discussing opportunities for the pharma and biotech industries. In the past few years, significant investment and new partnerships have enabled us to mature and extend our offer to industry and we’d like to take this opportunity to provide an update.