• BIA Blog

CEO Update | Monday 17 June

Today, the BIA is pleased to publish a new report, ‘Life sciences: Catalysing investment and growth”. which sets out how our sector is driving investment and growth across the UK and makes the case for increased cost-effective public investment in the sector. The report aims to inform the Government, UKRI and other policy makers as they prepare for the forthcoming Spending Review and develop an R&D roadmap to reach 2.4% R&D target.

Video of the week | How Engineers Move Medicine Around The World

Medicines have complex storage and transportation needs, and getting medicines to remote locations requires lots of planning, clever engineering and infrastructure. Check out this video from SciShow on YouTube to find out more about how medicines are transported around the world. 

Labouring the point: How biotech should engage with the Labour Party

There can have been few moments when the political landscape has looked more uncertain, with polls fluctuating wildly, leadership contests in two separate parties and a looming hard deadline for Brexit. But while the machinations of the Conservative Party leadership race rumble on, it is also important not to forget that over on the Opposition benches, new policy is being formed which has a decent chance of being implemented in some form after the next general election. While current opinion polls suggest that the electorate may give many of their votes to the Liberal Democrats or the recently formed Brexit Party, a significant chunk remain with Labour. With Labour’s narrow win in Peterborough by-election fresh in everyone’s minds, it is clear that the party is still in the running.

CEO Update | Tuesday 11 June 2019

Many congratulations to BIA Chair, Dr Jane Osbourn who has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours announced at the weekend. Jane is a true pioneer in our sector, who not only has pioneered world-class research and contributed to blockbuster discoveries but is a passionate advocate for the UK life sciences sector. For me, Jane’s greatest qualities are her abilities to communicate and lead, she has and always will be a trailblazer in our sector and I’m delighted that she has received this award. In Westminster the Conservative leadership contest to replace Theresa May is underway and we have produced a life sciences focused guide to the runners and riders which is available here.

Video of the week |Astex | Kisqali® - Our Discovery Journey

Kisqali® is a cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor, blocking two proteins that help cancer divide and grow quickly. By blocking these proteins, the drug slows down cancer growth in conjunction with endocrine therapies.

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.

BIA MAC LeaP | A mini tour of Adaptimmune

My name is Roger McGilvray and I am a Principal Scientist in the Process Development division at Adaptimmune. I am one of the people selected to be part of the most recent BIA MAC Leadership Programme (LeaP) cohort. The programme runs over two years with a group of 11 early to mid-career leaders who are committed to continuous improvement. The group meets once every two months and each person in the group hosts the group at their home site. The group gets to select their own project to progress over the course of the programme and we chose to look into what we can learn from other manufacturing sectors. This was my turn to host the group for our second meeting.

CEO Update | Tuesday 28 May 2019

Last week was another big week in Westminster as Theresa May announced her timetable for stepping down as Prime Minister. A number of Conservative politicians have already announced their intentions to stand for the party leadership.  This comes after the European Parliamentary elections, where the predicted surge of support for the Brexit Party did materialise.  

Video of the week | What makes measles so contagious

Just this week, Public Health England said that every one person who misses a vaccination is "one too many". There have been 795 cases of mumps in the first three months of 2019, compared with 1031 cases in the whole of 2018. Measles is not far behind in terms of making a comeback, but how does the disease get such a grip, and why does it spread so fast? Check out this video from Stat news to find out more about how measles gets a grip - and remember the most effective way to prevent it is by getting vaccinated. 

CEO Update | Monday 20 May 2019

UK life science certainly feels more Champions League Final (Spurs v Liverpool) than Eurovision (UK last place) this week. First, LifeArc has announced that it has sold most of its royalty interest in the blockbuster drug Keytruda for $1.3bn (£1.02bn) and plans to invest the windfall in developing new treatments. The sale was made to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, one of the world’s largest retirement funds. We were thrilled that recently-appointed LifeArc CEO, Melanie Lee, was the recipient of our lifetime achievement award at the BIA Gala Dinner in January – it’s fantastic to see her leading the way on LifeArc’s monetization process. This is great news for the UK life sciences ecosystem, research and patients. You can read more about this in the Financial Times.