• Strategic Technologies

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.

Video of the week | The Guardian | CrisprCas9 explained

Professor Jennifer Doudna, one the pioneers of Crispr-Cas9 gene editing explains how this important discovery enables precise changes to our DNA , which can be used to correct mutations that cause genetic disease and completely eradicate it from a germline. Doudna raises the 4 key issues of debate around this revolutionary discovery and suggests what will have the most immediate impact.

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.

Guest Blog | Cambridge Cancer Genomics | Making Personalised Cancer Care a Reality

One of the most high profile research fields in modern healthcare is that of cancer care. The leaps in medicine mean that in the UK, cancer survival has doubled in the last 40 years. What’s more, 50% of people diagnosed currently survive for 10 years or more (CRUK, 2010–11). These are incredible statistics that show the real-world effects of better cancer research and care. But, as the incidence of new diagnoses is rising, we need to do more.

BIA blog | CJEU decision denies SPCs for new formulations

The latest decision concerning Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) was handed down by the CJEU in the Abraxis Bioscience case (C-443/17) on 21 March. The BIA’s IP Advisory Committee (IPAC) provided informal views on behalf of the sector to the UK Intellectual Protection Office (IPO) regarding this case, to inform the UK Government’s representations to the CJEU. Andrew Hutchinson of Simmons & Simmons and a member of IPAC has provided the following analysis for BIA members.

Guest blog | Action Medical Research | Meet the researcher: Dr Tomoki Arichi

Inspired by the ‘amazing growth’ of a young child’s brain, Dr Tomoki Arichi wants to understand more about the impact of illness on brain development – with a grant of almost £200,000 from Action.

Guest blog | Synthace | Engineering Science with Computer Aided Biology

Computer Aided Biology (or CAB) is a conceptual framework and an emerging ecosystem of digitally powered research tools that augment human capabilities in biological research. These tools encompass both the digital (e.g. machine learning algorithms) and the physical (lab automation) which together empower biologists to address increasingly complex biological challenges.

Video of the Week | National Apprenticeship Week 2019 | Advanced Therapies

During National Apprenticeship Week apprentices and participating employers gathered at Oxford BioMedica to discuss how the first of its kind advanced therapies apprenticeship programme is key to meeting the industry demands for advanced therapies. Dr Ian Campbell, interim Executive Chair, Innovate UK, delivered the keynote speech and highlighted the Government’s commitment to the programme. Other highlights of the day included a Q&A session with current apprentices and the launch of three new programmes in regulatory affairs, senior management and the Scottish modern apprenticeship in life sciences.

Video of the week | Benevolent AI and Parkinson's UK

It's been 50 years since a new treatment for Parkinson's has been discovered. Current treatments focus on treating the motor symptoms of Parkinson's, and come with a whole host of often debilitating side effects. This video forms part of a BIA campaign called Celebrating UK Bioscience, and explores a project between BIA Charity of the year 2018, Parkinson's UK, and BIA member Benevolent AI. Harnessing the power of AI, they hope to identify new targets for drugs, and molecules which may have failed in their particular indication of study, but could be repurposed to help fight Parkinson's. Check out this video #WorldParkinsonsAwarenessWeek