This is Innovate UK’s 4th installment of their essential selection business tips and advice series. This video covers tips on business networking for start-ups and SMEs. Whether a start-up, small business or SME there may be useful advice that you haven’t considered.

The video outlines and explains the most effective ways for businesses to maximise their networking ROI, and includes actionable advice supported by comments from industry experts and investors.

On 7 July 2016, 35 senior representatives from the UK’s life science industry convened for the BIA’s sixteenth annual Parliament Day, a key day of engagement between BIA members and policymakers in Whitehall and Westminster.

Taking place just two weeks after the historic and marginal vote by the British public to leave the European Union – yet before the announcement of Theresa May as the next PM – Parliament Day 2016 was an especially timely opportunity for attendees to catch up, take stock, and hear the BIA’s and policymakers’ takes on next steps forward for the science and business environment post-Referendum.

For policymakers, it was an early opportunity to hear industry views and start to identify red-lines and potential areas of opportunity in this time of flux.

Naturally, the EU and Brexit permeated the discussions, but another important issue that was focused upon on Parliament Day was BIA’s recommendations on the development of innovation finance products; the call to refill the Biomedical Catalyst and key considerations for the shift from Innovate UK grants toward ‘non-grant’ or loan-style products. A short position paper is available online.

The delegation met with over 40 policymakers across over 20 meetings. This great level of engagement between BIA members and policymakers strengthens BIA’s relationship with key contacts in policy and political spheres. Following Theresa May’s instalment as the new UK Prime Minister and the subsequent changes to government staff, it was great to have Nicola Blackwood MP, newly appointed health minister, participating on the day. As well as being able to follow up with these contacts in the following weeks and months as BIA develops its post-Referendum work, we hope that the Parliament Day meetings will provide a stimulus for some parliamentary questions.

Photos of the day are available online.

 

Policymaker engagements (positions stated as of 7 July 2016):

  • George Freeman MP – Minister for Life Sciences, and Nicole Mather, Director of the Office for Life Sciences
  • Baroness Neville-Rolfe – Minister for Intellectual Property
  • Lord Hunt of King’s Heath – Opposition Spokesperson for Health
  • Ruth McKernan – Chief Executive, Innovate UK
  • Sir John Savill – Chief Executive, Medical Research Council
  • Nick Seddon – Special Adviser to No.10 (Health and Social Care)
  • Rachel Wolf – Special Adviser to No.10 (Technology, innovation, education)
  • Ed Jones – Special Adviser to Jeremy Hunt MP (Dept of Health)
  • HM Treasury’s Enterprise Investment Team
  • Department of Health’s R&D Directorate Team
  • Department of Business’s Innovation Finance Products Team
  • Department of Business’s Bioeconomy Team
  • NICE – Nick Crabb, Programme Director, Scientific Affairs; and Nina Pinwill, Associate Director, Office for Market Access

MPs:

  • Nicola Blackwood MP – Chair of the Science & Technology Committee, and Member for Oxford West and Abingdon (Con)
  • David Rutley MP – Member for Macclesfield (Con)
  • Liz McInnes MP – Member for Heywood and Middleton (Lab)
  • Rt Hon John Spellar MP – Member for Warley (Lab)
  • Chris Green MP – Member for Bolton West (Con)
  • Charles Walker OBE MP – Member for Broxbourne (Con)
  • Rt Hon Anne Milton MP – Member for Guildford (Con)
  • Jo Churchill MP – Member for Bury St Edmonds (Con)
  • Daniel Zeichner MP – Member for Cambridge (Lab)
  • Andrew Slaughter MP – Member for Hammersmith (Lab)

Peers:

  • Lord Turnberg
  • Lord Willetts
  • Lord Selborne
  • Lord Haskel
  • Baroness Sharp
  • Baroness Masham
  • Baroness Neville-jones
  • Lord Oxburgh
  • Lord Traverne

 

The Home Office has today published the Statistics on the Use of Animals in Scientific Procedures for 2015. The report shows 4.14 million procedures were conducted in 2015, representing an increase of 1%, or 21,000 procedures, compared with 2013.

Of the 4.14 million procedures, 2.08 million (just over 50%) were experimental procedures and 2.06 million (just under 50%) related to the creation and breeding of genetically altered animals – mostly mice – that were not used in further experimental procedures.

Trends over time

In 2014, the Home Office made some changes to how it collected the data for these statistics. This led to some misreporting for that year. The statistics published today have therefore been compared to 2013 rather than 2014 in the Home Office report.

The 2.08 million experimental procedures in 2015 represents an increase of 3% or 63,000 procedures compared with 2013. And the 2.06 million genetically altered animals created or bred but not used in further procedures in 2015 represents a decrease of 2% or 41,000 procedures compared with 2013.

This represents a slight change in the overall trend of how animals are being used as there has been a steady increase over the past decade in the use of genetically-altered animals. In between 2006 and 2013, the total number of all procedures increased by 37% (1.11 million procedures). The creation and breeding of genetically altered animals primarily accounted for this rise (1 million procedures) whilst the increase in the number of experimental procedures was much smaller (107,000 procedures).

Which species are used and how severe are the scientific procedures?

Of the 2.08 million experimental procedures completed in 2015, the majority involved mice (61% or 1.26 million procedures), followed by fish (14% or 294,000 procedures), rats (12% or 258,000 procedures) and birds (7% or 141,000 procedures). Experimental procedures involving specially-protected species (i.e. horses, dogs, cats, and non-human primates) accounted for just 0.8% (17,000) of procedures in 2015. There are additional standards for these animals and their use requires greater justification.

animal stats chart 2016

 

Nearly all of the procedures relating to the creation and breeding of genetically altered animals that were not used in further procedures involved mice (86% or 1.77 million procedures); zebrafish (13% or 267,000 procedures) and rats (1% or 11,000 procedures) were the second and third most-used species for genetic alteration.

One of the changes introduced in 2014 was the reporting of the actual severity of the procedure, which is assessed after the procedure is completed. This is more accurate than predicted severity, which is what was reported prior to 2014. However, this led to some misreporting in the 2014 dataset and today’s Home Office report does warn that some – but less – misreporting of these details will still be a problem in the 2015 dataset. It expects this to improve over successive years and says it has already improved guidance.

Of the severity assessments undertaken for the 2.08 million experimental procedures completed:

  • 13% (268,000) were assessed as sub-threshold (compared with 9% in 2014);
  • 6% (123,000) were assessed as non-recovery (compared with 7% in 2014);
  • 51% (1.06 million) were assessed as mild (compared with 51% in 2014);
  • 24% (502,000) were assessed as moderate (compared with 25% in 2014);
  • 6% (123,000) were assessed as severe (compared with 8% in 2014).

And of the severity assessments undertaken for genetic alteration procedures:

  • 55% (1.13 million) were assessed as sub-threshold (compared with 46% in 2014);
  • 2% (3,300) were assessed as non-recovery (compared with 0.1% in 2014);
  • 39% (806,000) were assessed as mild (compared with 48% in 2014);
  • 3% (65,000) were assessed as moderate (compared with 4% in 2014);
  • 3% (62,000) were assessed as severe (compared with 2% in 2014).

The report and associated data tables provide much greater detail about all species used, the severity of procedures, and changes on levels of their use over time.

What is the BIA’s position on animal research?

Animal research plays an invaluable and legally-mandated part in the development of medicines. It is extremely important – and a legal obligation – for researchers to ensure that promising new medicines are tested for safety and efficacy (i.e. having the intended effects) as far as possible before they are tested in humans.

concordat pic

The BIA is a signatory of the Concordat on Openness on the Use of Animals in Research, an agreement supported by a range of organisations – including universities, companies, research funders and umbrella organisations – to commit to being open about the use of animals in research in the UK.

The UK has among the highest standards in the world for the welfare of animals used in research, including a commitment to the 3Rs – the reduction, replacement and refinement of animals used in research. The BIA supports the aims of the Concordat, which will help the research community to communicate about the benefits, limitations and nature of animal research to ensure the public has the information they need to develop informed views on this topic.

 

MMIP banner

This is the latest update on the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP) from Chairman, Ian McCubbin. If you have any feedback on the content or information here then please email us at MMIP@bioindustry.org. If you have any colleagues you feel would be interested in learning more about the work of MMIP then please ask them to get in touch with us or sign up to our mailing list here.

Manufacturing output data

Recent data from the ONS UK Index of Production shows that pharmaceutical manufacturing saw an 8.6% rise in April 2016, it’s largest rise since July 2012. However, the latest data shows a decrease of 6.5%. The overall increase is understood to be caused by increased exports. Work is ongoing to better understand the UK pharmaceutical sector’s footprint, the causes of the volatility and what can be done to ensure the UK medicines manufacturing sector continues to thrive in the future.

Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce update

The Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce held its second meeting of three on Tuesday 28 June. Since the last meeting each of the three workstreams (International Competitiveness, Skills and People, Manufacturing and Technology) have held workshops and other engagement activity to develop a series of prioritised actions for the Taskforce meeting to consider. Work is in progress to ensure buy-in from relevant stakeholders and Government departments. The final meeting will take place in November.

New ABPI Head of Manufacturing Innovation

The ABPI has recently appointed a new Head of Manufacturing Innovation. Dr Magda Papadaki joins from Innovate UK where she was Lead Technologist for the Regenerative Medicine program. She is a trained stem cell and gene therapy scientist and has over a decade of experience in research, with regulatory and business experience in the EU and US.

She joins the rest of the MMIP operational team including Neil Baker from Pfizer, Gregor Anderson from GSK, Ian Dick from GSK and David Garton from AstraZeneca (left to right below).

MMIP team

Open Funding calls from Innovate UK and H2020

The KTN MedBio team has produced a blog highlighting a number of Innovate UK funding calls which are relevant to the sector. If you are interested and would like support to apply for any of these opportunities then please contact Mark Bustard at the KTN (mark.bustard@ktn-uk.org).

MHRA Innovation Office supports Queen’s University Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast has been developing novel patches that are showing considerable promise as an effective and safe platform for transdermal drug delivery, as well as for minimally-invasive patient monitoring/diagnosis. MHRA Innovation Office’s latest case study, looks at how they helped QUB in preparing for the regulatory framework that will be the final step in bringing innovation to market.

Consultations

  • MHRA consultation on guidance for medical devices
    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is asking for comments on its draft guidance for medicinal devices. This guidance is intended to be a useful resource on human factors and usability engineering principles, to clarify the expectations of the regulatory bodies. It is aimed at manufacturers of all device classes who intend to market their device in the UK. The consultation closes on 5 August.
  • IMI consultation on advanced therapies
    IMI has developed a concept paper on advanced therapies. The aim of the concept paper is to identify the potential of IMI as a platform for enhancing ATMP research and development. The deadline for submitting comments is 25 July 2016.

I hope you find this note of interest and we will continue to communicate and create a community of committed like-minded professionals who can help with MMIP. Please contact us at MMIP@bioindustry.org or join our LinkedIn group at http://bia.me/MMIP_LinkedIn. Likewise, if you have any colleagues you feel would be interested in learning more about the work of MMIP then please ask them to get in touch with us or sign up to our mailing list here.

 

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Following a swift change-over, Theresa May entered No. 10 last Wednesday as the new UK Prime Minister and proceeded to appoint her new cabinet. Some notable changes which are relevant to our sector include the movement of Greg Clark to head up the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – a reform of BIS. Meanwhile Sajid Javid becomes Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Jeremy Hunt remains as Health Secretary and David Gauke becomes Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Over the weekend, we saw a flurry of additional Ministerial appointments being announced. Of key interest to our sector, George Freeman has been moved from the Life Sciences brief to take up the role of Chair of the Prime Minister’s Policy Board. This is a key and central policy making position and great to have someone steeped with life sciences knowledge in this central role. Ministerial responsibilities are being confirmed as I write, so we do not yet have an absolute answer on whether the role held by Freeman will be replaced exactly and if not which Minister(s) will be responsible for life sciences and which Department(s) that will fall into. We know that Jo Johnson will retain his Universities and Science brief (but now working across both the Business and Education departments) and that other key faces for us will include newly appointed Health Ministers David Mowat and Nicola Blackwood. Nicola has engaged a lot with us recently, through her now prior role as Chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee but also as an Oxford MP, both at the recent BIA Parliament Day and at a private roundtable meeting in Oxford in May.

The new picture of government is further complicated by the fact that the shape of the new government currently features the creation of two new departments (the Department for Brexit and the Department for International Trade) and the demise or restructure of others (for example the absorption of the Department for Energy and Climate Change into the newly restructured Department for Business- now the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy rather than the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills). We will keep members updated as we know more, particularly how the changes will relate to how the new UK EU Life Sciences Steering Group will operate (see below) and our next policy and regulatory affairs update report due at the end of the month will provide a more detailed analysis of the new government landscape. In the meantime, this Politics Home article has a handy table of the appointments if you’re interested.

You may have seen some press coverage that following the outcome of the EU referendum, George Freeman MP, former Life Sciences Minister, announced the formation of the UK EU Life Sciences Steering Group to oversee and manage the transition for the life sciences sector. The Steering Group has asked the ABPI and BIA to set up and support a UK EU Life Sciences Transition Programme to do this work and the attached briefing sets out further information about the Programme and how you can become involved. This includes via a webinar on Friday 22 July 12-1pm – register to attend here.

In other developments following the EU Referendum, the MHRA released a new statement last week explaining that the Agency continues to play a full, active role in European regulatory procedures. Details are provided in the statement in full here, along with their initial response from 27 June.

Also on the MHRA, following our joint regulatory conference back in May, last week we published a report summarising the presentations and perspectives from senior experts and leading speakers from MHRA, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the life science industry, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), NHS England, academia, research charities, patient organisations and investment firms. The full report can be downloaded from the conference website, where you can also find the full programme and slide presentations for this year.

Finally, ending on some great news for the sector as MRC Technology announced it has monetised a portion of its royalty interest in leading cancer drug Keytruda – freeing up over £115M to expand its medical research activities. You can read about the role MRCT played in the development of the treatment in our Celebrate report. It’s fantastic to see the proceeds being reinvested in novel research and development – hopefully into the next Keytruda or two!

Best

Steve

If you didn’t manage to catch this Tuesday’s webinar, on raising capital in the current environment while retaining control, it’s now available to view below.

Hear from Darrin Disley on how Horizon Discovery was able to bring in different types of capital at different stages of the business; Harren Jhoti covers the potential of mergers and acquisitions following his experience at Astex Pharmaceuticals; and Neil Murray on the evolution of Redx Pharma and their collaboration with the NHS.

Do you have a video you would like the sector to see? Contact us.

SIP Skills StrategyOn the blog today, Malcolm Skingle, Director, GSK and Chair of the SIP board, discusses the recently launch Science Industry Partnership Skills Strategy.

Our skilled science and technology employees drive the UK’s innovation and competitiveness. They discover, develop and commercialise our products. They launch new treatments, technologies, companies and even propagate new industries.

However, we cannot take their availability and talent for granted.

The Science Industry Partnership (SIP) has now published its first SIP Skills Strategy, based on a major research exercise into the skills required through to 2025 in order to ensure a globally competitive science industry sector – which includes the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, bio-technology and medical technology industries.

The Strategy is clear: the industry cannot guarantee future science talent on its own. The report calls for collaboration between Government, industry and education providers to deliver the skilled workforce we need.

The Strategy will also help us build on the significant achievements of the SIP so far – which include delivery of over 6000 individual learners into the science sector in a two year period.

The SIP Skills Strategy is a significant piece of work, over a year in the making, and forecasts the sector’s demand for skilled people out to 2025 – a projection of between 180,000 – 260,000 new scientific staff, many in new technology-based occupations. This forecast includes:

  • up to 142,000 professional level graduate-entry jobs
  • up to 73,000 technical level apprenticeship-entry roles

The Government has also made its support clear – George Freeman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Life Sciences at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department of Health has welcomed the report and emphasised, “we are committed to maximising the potential of British scientific talent so that we can drive economic growth through innovation and give more young people the chance to work in this exciting industry.”

We know that these key strategic industries change our world for the better in innumerable ways, but there remains a significant and ongoing need to recruit, train and develop employees at both technical and managerial levels as the demand for innovation and higher-level skills intensifies.

This important research gives us priority areas which we can target with action and solutions and the report sets out a number of strategic objectives, linked to key recommendations. These call for much more collaboration between industry and education – something which takes effort and time; a focus on quality of science training provision, building awareness of STEM careers and many more undergraduate work experience opportunities.

A key recommendation is also to make it easier for SMEs to access CPD and training. Skills development is not just for big companies with training departments and big budgets. It is critical to the innovation pipeline, particularly in areas such as commercialisation and Intellectual Property – and our suggestions include offering apprenticeship sharing schemes and financial incentives.

Priority attention is also required on “red list” occupations from informatics specialists to the technician workforce and on the continued monitoring of emerging skills needs.

These recommendations are now being taken forward into an ambitious SIP Plan linked to the SIP’s operational targets, which include an ambition for 20,000 apprentices over the next 5 years as well as 300 industry placements per annum.

Innovation and progress – from medicines to microscopes, and everything in between – has come from the brightest scientific minds.  The impact of our sector on our national competitiveness, economic growth and quality of life cannot be overstated. Our report shows that this growing science industry workforce is central to our prosperity and well-being and these jobs are the jobs of our future.

We look forward to taking forward this report and to working with all our partners in Government, education and industry to take the necessary actions to bring new talent in to the sector and to maximise the potential of those already working in it.

To find out more about the SIP Skills Strategy, visit the website.

PDay NCast

Last week 35 CEOs and senior executives made the trip to Westminster for our annual Parliament Day, an action-packed day of meetings with key policymakers including Innovate UK CEO Ruth McKernan, Sir John Savill, the Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Neville-Rolfe, three special advisors, ten MPs and key civil servants in the Departments of BIS, DH and HM Treasury. The meetings were an excellent opportunity to discuss some of the key issues facing the UK bioscience sector and the policy support required from government to ensure that the UK can fulfil its ambition of becoming a third global cluster.

As well as a full discussion of the implication of the result of the EU referendum, BIA members were able to press the case for refilling the Biomedical Catalyst and the need for a funded early access scheme in the Accelerated Access Review.

I’m also delighted to say that last week the government’s Ministerial Industry Strategy Group agreed to the formation of a taskforce to provide recommendations and considerations for how the UK can seize the opportunity to define a new relationship with the EU. This is a major opportunity for the BIA to ensure its members’ voice is heard by the new incoming government. The steering group will be co-chaired by George Freeman, Andrew Witty of GSK and AstraZeneca’s Pascal Soriot. The BIA will ensure the process and plan is practically delivered to deadline working alongside the ABPI and the public agencies like the MHRA and the HRA that sit within the Government’s life science remit. More on the practicalities next week.

As it has become clear today that Theresa May will be the new Prime Minister, I think the following line of her speech this morning is particularly relevant to our sector. In a paragraph reported as a swipe at the Chancellor George Osborne she said, “Two years ago the Government almost allowed AstraZeneca to be sold to Pfizer, the US company with a track record of asset stripping and whose self-confessed attraction to the deal was to avoid tax. A proper industrial strategy wouldn’t automatically stop the sale of British firms to foreign ones, but it should be capable of stepping in to defend a sector that is as important as pharmaceuticals is to Britain.” I’m sure we’ll see a lot more flesh put on the bones of this sentence in the coming months but I think it bodes well that the incoming Conservative leader understands from day one the importance of our sector to the future of the UK economy.  It also hints that “proper industrial strategy” will be part of her government – so I hope this will include a reinvigorated strategy for the life sciences – something I know George Freeman stressed the importance of to her before declaring his support for her candidacy last week. She also stressed that even though she campaigned for remain “Brexit means Brexit” so we can be clear of the planning environment we will be working in.

Also on Europe – if you missed our member webinar following the EU Referendum result, it’s now available to view on the blog here.

In some good news for the sector, on Thursday Business Secretary Sajid Javid announced £10m of funding for the Biomedical Catalyst 2016. For full details visit the Innovate UK website. Do note that the briefing webinar for potential applicants takes place tomorrow afternoon, more info here.

The BIA has continually called for a re-commitment to this highly successful scheme over the past year and it is great to see that innovative start-ups in the life sciences sector will have access to really valuable funding to allow them to get projects off the ground that have the potential to meet unmet patient needs in a range of conditions.

However whilst this announcement meets a short-term need, it is not the ongoing commitment that the BIA wants to see the government make towards innovation policy and funding. Despite signs of continued momentum and maturity in the private funding of the UK’s bioscience sector, there is no room for complacency. The lack of reported seed capital for UK bioscience companies in 2015 shown in our latest research underlines the importance of effective support for early-stage companies through fit for purpose innovation policy from the government. To secure the future of the sector we need another full round of the Biomedical Catalyst funding like the £130m we saw committed over the course of the last Parliament – a message we made loud and clear during our Parliament Day meetings.

Given the political and economic uncertainty that the country has seen over the last fortnight, it is now more important than ever that the government supports high-tech, innovative sectors such as bioscience with globally competitive innovation policy and funding. The BIA will continue to voice this message over the coming weeks and months to the new Prime Minister and his or her government.

Parliament Day was followed on Thursday evening with some spectacular views of the Thames at our Summer Networking Reception, held on the rooftop terrace at the Institute of Engineering and Technology. Some much needed relaxation following a busy day, and great to catch up with so many of you there – take a look at our pictures from the evening here.

Finally on BIA staff news, I’m delighted to announce that Laura Collister has joined the team as interim head of communications and public affairs for a year. Laura most recently worked at GSK in the UK operating company as Head of Government Affairs. Laura also worked at Vodafone, the Cooperative Group, ABHI and Fleishman Hillard in public affairs and communications roles. I’m sure you’ll all join me in welcoming her to the team.

Best

Steve

Today’s video showcase features a recording of our member webinar, held on Monday 27 June to discuss the result of the EU Referendum and its implications for the sector.

Watch it below.

Do you have a video you would like the sector to see? Contact us.

The seventh annual Strength and Opportunity report, produced by the Office for Life Sciences and UK Trade and Investment, was launched in May. The report identifies the strengths in the UK health life sciences industry and the opportunities for future growth. In the blog below, we highlight some of the key statistics from the report.

Strength and Opportunity 2015 sets out a detailed picture of the life science industry in the UK, consisting of the medical biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors. Overall, the UK life science industry:

  • Employs an estimated 222,000 people
  • Across 5,633 companies
  • Collectively generating around £60.7bn in annual turnover
  • Two thirds of employment in the industry is found outside London and the South East of England

Life Science SandO

Looking specifically at the biopharmaceutical sector, which comprises medical biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, this accounts for 48% of employees and 35% of companies in the UK life science sector, generating approximately two thirds of the annual turnover:

  • 107,000 employees
  • 1,948 companies
  • Generating £39.7bn annual turnover
  • SMEs make up 78% of companies in the sector and supply chain
  • Primarily located in the South East (25%), London (13%), East (19%) and North West (13%)

Biopharma SandO

Further analysis of the biopharmaceutical sector looks at core biopharma companies versus biopharma service and supply companies. Core biopharma companies (i.e. those companies whose business involves developing and/or producing their own pharmaceutical products – from small, R&D focussed biotechs to multinational Big Pharma) account for 664 of the 1,948 companies, employing 62,300 people, with a turnover of £28.9bn in 2015. Analysing the size of companies shows there is a diverse size range with a lot of micro companies: 42% have less than five employees and just over 10% have over 250 people.

Graph

For the first time, the report also includes figures on the emerging digital health and genomics sectors – both key areas of future growth for the UK.

Published alongside Strength and Opportunity 2015, the Life Science Competitiveness report shows a higher level picture of the UK life sciences ecosystem and performance relative to a set of comparator countries. This overview highlights the strong academic base and clinical research environment in the UK, as well as high levels of health and life sciences industry productivity.

Read the Strength and Opportunity report in full here and infographics of the key statistics are also available here

Read the Life Science Competitiveness Indicators report here

Interested in financing and deals within the biotech sector in 2015? Check out BIA’s Money, Momentum and Maturity report here

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