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£11 million boost for leading antibody development company MedAnnex Ltd

Edinburgh-based biotechnology company MedAnnex Ltd has received a further £1 million investment from The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scotland’s national economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise. This adds to a recent £10 million Series B investment, by Boston-based global Life Sciences investor Morningside Ventures, to close an £11 million funding round for MedAnnex.

Planning permission sought for Plot 16 as The Oxford Science Park continues ambitious expansion plans

Oxford, UK, July 24 2019 - Following an architectural competition for a compelling contemporary design in 2018, involving four first-class international practices, and after open consultation with the local community, The Oxford Science Park has filed for detailed planning permission for a major new phase of development on its Plot 16.

Guest blog | Sean Morgan-Jones | UK Biotech PLC is Totally Smashing It...

‘The UK is leading a two speed Europe’ (McKinsey & Company, Biotech in Europe: Scaling Innovation May 20, 2019). One of the key findings and contrary to the received wisdom, is that the UK is totally smashing it on all measures as a Biotech hot spot according to research presented at BioEquity Europe in Barcelona by McKinsey & Company looking at where's hot and where's not. Of the 1,000 European Biotechs established since 2012 the UK is leading by a country mile and represents 35% of all new Biotechs and according to the report and is leading a two speed Europe (with Germany, France and Spain in relative decline). 

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.

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.

UKI2S and Innovate UK launch new £10m initiative to accelerate growth of early stage science and engineering companies

The £27m UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) and Innovate UK (IUK) have launched a joint initiative, the UKI2S Innovate Accelerator. With £10m of IUK funding to be used alongside direct equity investment by UKI2S, the new scheme is designed to boost some of the UK’s most exciting young companies.

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.

Locate Bio receives additional £2.0 million investment from Mercia to expand gene and cell therapy pipeline

Locate Bio Ltd has received an additional £2.0 million of investment from Mercia Technologies PLC and its third party fund, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund to expand the application of its technologies, including its promising gene therapy technology IntraStem™, into new high value therapy areas to both broaden its in-house development pipeline and provide additional partnering opportunities.

Video of the week | Big pharma's billion-dollar bets

Check out this video to learn more about why big companies are paying billions to take over small companies. Facing pressure from investors to cut R&D spending, large pharmaceutical companies are always in search of the next blockbuster drug, making risky bets on companies that may only have one drug in their pipeline. Arash Massoudi, the FT's corporate finance and deals editor tells all.

N-Site Life Sciences Knowledge Portal is now free for all subscribers – new expert guidance updates available

N-Site is a unique knowledge portal which provides expert insight and expertise for organisations, professionals and academics in the life sciences sector. This resource is now free to all subscribers, reflecting our intention for this resource to be used by as many as possible, and offers over 85 Guidance Notes from FTI Consulting, Gill Jennings & Every and Taylor Wessing on the key issues affecting companies in the sector.