Life Sciences Industrial Strategy paves way to support UK bioscience growth

Published: 31-Aug-2017

The BioIndustry Association (BIA) welcomes the publication of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy

Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford, has led the development of this report to government, with input from across the life sciences ecosystem, including the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Board.

BIA CEO and Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Board member, Steve Bates, said: "It is fantastic to see the publication of a life sciences industrial strategy that can act as a springboard to an early sector deal for the life sciences industry."

"The BIA has long called for a revived industrial strategy to maintain and build investment into the UK and grow and scale the UK’s innovative bioscience companies. We stand ready to continue engagement with government to ensure that this strategy can pave the way for an impactful sector deal that can help deliver the BIA’s vision to establish the UK as the third global cluster for life sciences.”

Alongside the publication of the strategy, the government also announced a new £13 million funding competition for a medicines manufacturing centre, a £66 million investment in a vaccines development and manufacturing centre, a £30 million investment in cell and gene therapy treatment centres, a £12 million cell and gene therapy investment in Stevenage and £25 million to support SMEs and boost innovation.

CEO Steve Bates added: “These new investments and funding competitions bring to life the calls the BIA has made, both individually and through collaborations such as the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership, to grow our industry’s future. It is great to see SMEs front and centre in today’s announcements.”

The strategy provides a wide-ranging view on many of the issues that underpin the life sciences ecosystem, including discovery and translational science, NHS collaboration, manufacturing and skills. It also challenges the sector to engage further with the opportunities in healthcare presented by new technology through the proposed Health Advanced Research Programme (HARP).

The strategy was launched at Birmingham’s Institute of Translational Medicine by Sir John Bell, alongside Secretary of State for Health Rt Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Rt Hon. Greg Clark MP.

BIA Chair Jane Osbourn represented the BIA at the launch and said: “For the sector to achieve its potential and ambition, a sea change in the levels of scale-up capital and fiscal support is required."

"It is great to see many of the necessary actions the BIA has called for in this strategy, from reform of Entrepreneurs Relief to making R&D tax credits work better for SMEs. These recommendations, alongside the focus of the forthcoming Patient Capital Review, provide a great foundation to take the UK’s life sciences sector to the next level.”

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