In response to the announcement that UK Cabinet has approved the draft Brexit deal, BIA CEO, Steve Bates, said: "We welcome this week's progress on Brexit discussions with the initial agreement between the EU and UK on a withdrawal agreement and the political agreement on the outline of a future relationship. The BIA will now monitor and inform its members of the political debate that will ensue in the finely balanced UK parliament. There is significant detail to digest and we are engaging with members and others to understand the implications of the deal for the life sciences sector, and plan to produce a detailed briefing on this next week.
This week I am in China with a number of BIA members. This trip is the centrepiece of the BIA’s ramp up of engagement East in 2018. Building on our China Special Interest Group we are seeking to increase the number of UK biotech companies collaborating with, generating revenue from, and receiving investment from the Chinese market. In Hong Kong I am exploring how we can jointly build the life science analytical capability needed for global liquidity - and make dual listing - or similar - a practical reality for UK companies seeking investment there.
As the Brexit negotiations inch ever closer to a crunch point and debates heat up in Parliament over the UK’s preparedness to leave the EU, the government continues to ready itself to strike future trade deals. This work is being led by Liam Fox’s Department for International Trade (DIT), which was set-up after the EU referendum with the responsibility to lead the UK’s independent trade policy post-Brexit.
This week I am heading to Hong Kong and then Shanghai in China. Hong Kong stock market rules have recently changed making it easier for pre revenue companies to list on its stock market. I am exploring there how we can jointly build the life science analytical capability needed for global liquidity - and make dual listing - or similar - a practical reality for UK companies seeking investment.
New explainer videos, new R+D tax guide, Commons’ Select committee on AMR and new Scientist.com deal
It’s great to celebrate and explain our sector. Last week we launched our Celebrating UK Bioscience videos and re-vamped our Strategic Technologies webpage with fantastic new content. We generated just under half a million unique impressions on Twitter in 3 days, and I’d like you to share these resources with your network to drive better understanding of our sector and what it does.
Commenting on the state of the UK life sciences ecosystem in a keynote address to the Bioindustry Association (BIA) UK Bioscience Forum in London BIA CEO Steve Bates OBE, will say: “The UK life sciences ecosystem is in a fantastic place. I see innovation, opportunity and collaboration everywhere. We are in an era of profound scientific opportunity.”
The opening address will cover key issues that are currently having an impact on the UK bioscience ecosystem including government funding, Brexit, R&D development, the NHS and the future of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
It’s a busy time in research and innovation policy. We are in the midst of an historic reorganisation of the funding infrastructure with the creation of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and a 20% increase in public investment. With critically-needed money now available, attention is turning to how it can be best spent. With this in mind, the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee is running an inquiry on the balance of research funding.
UK biotech companies have already raised more than £1.5 billion in 2018, surpassing the 2017 annual total of £1.2 billion – that’s the headline finding from our latest Biotech Financing Update with Informa Pharma Intelligence released last Friday. In the second half of the year, the data shows an acceleration in venture capital fundraisings and an uplift in amounts raised in Initial Public Offerings (IPO).