• Overarching Political Issues

BIA Chairman appointed UK Government’s Life Sciences Investment Envoy

Dr Dan Mahony, Chair of the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA), has been appointed Life Sciences Investment Envoy by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Envoy will champion the UK life sciences sector to national and international investors to help increase investment in scaling life science companies.

CEO Update | 28 November 2022

Thank you to all who have joined our BIA campaign to seek a solution to cuts in SME R&D tax credits introduced in the Autumn Statement. Today I was able to raise our concerns personally by handing a letter signed by over 300 CEOs to the Health Secretary and the Business Secretary at a meeting in Number 10 who assured me that this issue is being taken seriously at the very top of government.

CEO Update | 21 November 2022

A great week of UK life science connectivity at and around the Jefferies conference last week had the rug pulled from under it by government proposals in Thursday’s Autumn Statement to radically cut R&D tax credits for small and medium-sized companies from next April. We were able to provide immediate expert analysis of the implications of this proposal to Treasury officials last week. I will also be raising this with Ministers at the Life Sciences Council next Monday.

CEO Update | 14 November 2022

R&D tax credits must be reformed, not cut back if the UK is to become an Innovation Nation. This is the central argument of a must-read key think tank report, which is out today, ahead of the UK Government’s Autumn statement this Thursday. It is great to see that Onward have adopted our policy call to expand tax reliefs so that loss-making companies can receive cash credits for capital R&D investments, given the impressive team and alumni they have. I believe this report will have significant impact on the new Government’s approach in this area.

Call to place medical and health research at the heart of economic plans

Ahead of the Autumn Statement, the Academy of Medical Sciences has led a call for the Chancellor to place medical and health research at the heart of plans for growth. The letter, signed by leading biomedical and health research institutions from the private and charitable sector including Pfizer, Wellcome, BioIndustry Association, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation, highlights the need to invest in research as a driver for health and wealth across the UK and globally.

CEO Update | 7 November 2022

Great to see the UK leading the world in cell therapy this week with news that laboratory-grown red blood cells have been transfused into volunteers in a Bristol-based clinical trial that could help revolutionise treatments for patients with sickle cell disease and thalassemia. As we get ready for the bioProcessUK conference next week in Edinburgh our community knows that cost-effective manufacturing scalability is a key challenge for this new modality and will take confidence in the fact that it is here in the UK that we are leading the world in pioneering such new approaches.

CEO Update | 31 October 2022

Rishi Sunak is the UK’s new Prime Minister and formed his new government last week. Jeremy Hunt continues as Chancellor of the Exchequer, where he is closely advised by Kristen McCloud, the former civil servant who ran the office for life sciences; Steve Barclay returns as Health Secretary and Grant Shapps comes into BEIS as the new Secretary of State. A well-known face to the sector in George Freeman confirmed his return as the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation. Read on for Renewed Labour Party focus on life sciences, China webinar and more.

Cross-country HTA of gene therapy Libmeldy calls for price cut

Joint price negotiations for Orchard’s gene therapy Libmeldy could follow outcome of multi-country health technology assessment.

CEO Update | 24 October 2022

UK-based life sciences and biotech companies have raised £1.5 billion in equity finance in the first three quarters of the year, with investment activity accelerating in the three months leading to 31 August. Our latest data, published with Clarivate, shows two large financings in Q3 by Verona Pharma and Immunocore, both listed on the New York-based NASDAQ, raised the overall quarterly figures to £579 million, the best yet this year. The UK remains the strongest country in Europe for biotech venture capital and a rival to American clusters. Read about Dame Kate Bingham’s book launch, MAC LeaP Alumni site visit and more...

CEO Update | 17 October 2022

Last week we were proud to hold our inaugural TechBio UK conference, showcasing the work of incredible companies working at the interface of biotechnology and technology. These companies combine cutting-edge techniques from both sectors to draw insights from a wealth of data, including data concerning patients, drug molecules, healthcare infrastructure and research and development, to inform and transform drug discovery and patient care. Read about the opening of the key UK RNA centre and further positive UK sector news...