Influencing and shaping our sector | BIA update: January - April 2021

The BIA’s ongoing engagement enables our members’ voices to be heard at the highest levels. This quarterly update gives an overview of key policy developments and the BIA’s continued engagement with policymakers, regulatory authorities and wider stakeholders on behalf of the UK life sciences sector, from January to April 2021.

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has continued at pace throughout the quarter, the BIA has worked with Ministers via the Life Sciences COVID-19 Response Group, and with the Government’s Vaccine Taskforce via the BIA Expert Advisory Group, on the UK vaccine supply chains and future opportunities for UK manufacturing. As variants of the virus started to emerge, the BIA organised an Industry Forum on COVID-19 vaccine regulation, which led to the MHRA publishing new guidance on strain changes in authorised COVID-19 vaccines to fast-track approvals, without compromising on safety and efficacy. We also hosted a well-attended virtual briefing for MPs, where Kate Bingham and other experts spoke about the UK’s COVID-19 response.

We have also published new finance data for the UK biotech sector which showed that 2020 was a record-breaking fundraising year and 2021 looks even more promising. Many members are concerned about the new National Security and Investment Bill, which will introduce increased government powers to intervene in investment deals, and as a result of our advocacy efforts the Government has scaled back the scope of the mandatory regime by changing the definitions of engineering biology and AI. The BIA has also responded to the second consultation on the NICE Methods Review and continues to engage actively with the process through formal working groups. Read about this and much more in the report.

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