The first half of 2018 has delivered several pivotal developments for the advanced therapies industry. The year began with two significant acquisitions – in January Celgene acquired Juno for $9bn and Sanofi acquired Bioverativ for $11.5bn - and the EMA recently approved the first two CAR-T cell medicines – Novartis’ Kymriah and Kite’s Yescarta. This follows a bumper year for the sector in 2017, in which Kymriah and Yescarta both received FDA approval and Gilead acquired Kite for $11.9bn. So how long will this trend continue? How can the advanced therapies industry maintain and build on this momentum and does the industry need to adapt and evolve to ensure sustainable success?
As we communicated in last week’s Newscast, the government has published guidance documents which offer a certain amount of clarity on how life sciences companies will be able to operate during an implementation period. I’d encourage you to look at these if you have not already done so. BIA Member Cancer Research UK has also published a policy statement on the future of clinical trials as the UK leaves the EU, which gives an insight into just some of the concerns delays at the borders may cause. Clinical trials to treat neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive cancer most often affecting babies and children, involve the use of iodine-124, a radioactive material.
Louise Brown was a miracle baby like no other - the first baby born using IVF. She was born on 25 July 1978, having been conceived using a technique devised by British researchers Robert Edwards, Patrick Steptoe and Jean Purdy. 40 years after her birth, and 6 million IVF babies later, this technology continues to bring hope and happiness to many couples.
On Thursday 12 July, the same day the government published its Brexit White Paper, more than 35 senior representatives from UK life sciences companies convened in London for the BIA’s annual Parliament Day. As our flagship influencing event, Parliament Day facilitates important interactions between BIA members and policymakers across Westminster and Whitehall.
This is the latest update from the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership capturing the key highlights from the first six busy months of this year. If you have any feedback on the content or information here then please email us at MMIP@bioindustry.org. If you have any colleagues you feel would be interested in learning more about the work of MMIP then please ask them to get in touch with us or sign up to our mailing list here.
Welcome to the first Life Sciences Industrial Strategy & Sector Deal Newsletter. Here you will find an update on how we are progressing with the implementation of phase 1 of the Life Sciences Sector Deal as well as our upcoming priorities and engagement opportunities.
UK Government has today published four documents about how life sciences companies will be able to operate during an implementation/transition period. They provide clarity from the MHRA about how they anticipate regulation will work during an implementation period. There will be an implementation period if the Withdrawal Agreement is finalised and approved and a “deal” is agreed. The documents state that it “does not constitute legal advice and companies should seek independent legal advice dependent on their specific circumstances”. The documents are:
Programmable Droplets was created by Media Lab researcher Udayan Umapathi. Biologists spend huge amounts of their time in the lab laboriously moving fluids around using pipettes with disposable tips, generating waste and swallowing up time that could be better spent on other tasks. Programmable droplets are a lab-on-a-chip model that allows the user to use an electric field to move, mix and stir droplets. This can help eliminate contamination and human error and also drastically reduce the amount of waste generated in biological labs from disposable pipette tips.
The BIA is involved in continuous engagement to enable our members’ voices to be heard at the highest levels. Our most recent Influencing and Shaping Our Sector report gives an overview of some of the key policy and regulation work we have undertaken between April and July. This includes engagement with policymakers and wider stakeholders, ensuring members are briefed on the the latest Brexit updates, and submitting consultation responses on issues that impact on our members.
This month Brexit continued to dominate the debate in the City on UK life sciences, but it didn’t stop another strong month for fundraising. Also, in this edition, we explain what SRI means, and meet Syncona, a prominent investor in UK-originated healthcare innovation.