BIA Biomedical Cayalyst infographic

BIA Biomedical Cayalyst infographic

Last week the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) published its Delivery Plan for 2013-14. This plan sets out the wide variety of programmes that the TSB runs that may help innovative UK life science businesses grow more quickly. I encourage you to take a look at the opportunities provided particularly in health and high value manufacturing and we have developed a grid for members which highlights the most relevant.

Although some groups were suggesting the contrary last week, it is important to understand that the TSB Delivery Plan does not include any extension to (or new money for) the Biomedical Catalyst (BMC). The £30 million for the BMC referred to in the document simply sets out the remaining money that is available to be spent this year from the pre-announced existing allocation. The BIA expect it to be allocated to applicants in the third round of the BMC currently under assessment which we expect to be announced in July.

Last week, the BIA presented its Spending Review submission to government urging the Chancellor to provide for a consistent, year on year funding allocation to the Biomedical Catalyst.

This comes alongside the publication of a new BIA infographic which draws together some new data on the first two rounds of funding through the Biomedical Catalyst. This shows the positive impact the scheme is already making. Perhaps the key figure to highlight is that already over £50 million of private capital has been leveraged into the UK to support those projects which have been funded supporting businesses, jobs and growth.

Congratulations to our Regulatory Affairs Advisory Committee on a key breakthrough as revisions to the Voluntary Harmonisation Procedure (VHP) for multinational clinical trials applications have been introduced. The BIA has advocated for these changes for a number of years and is delighted that they are making a practical difference to companies. The VHP is a voluntary procedure agreed by the Clinical Trials Facilitation Group (CTFG), a working group of the EU Heads of Medicines Agencies, and these new revisions provide a major breakthrough in getting a harmonised regulatory decision on a clinical trial to be performed in more than one EU Member State. The changes should make getting new innovative medicines to patients quicker and easier.

The winner of the SR One/OBR One Start competition is Puridify a spinout from University College London looking to commercialise a more efficient use of purification chemistries. I would like to congratulate them and look forward to welcoming them to BIA membership as part of their prize alongside the £100,000 from SR One. On the same evening Cogent held the inaugural Life Sciences Skills Awards and many BIA members were nominated for awards. I am delighted that several awards were won by our members: Eden Biodesign won the Employer (small) of the year Award, Amgen won the Employer (global) of the year Award, Hannah Compton of UCB won the Undergraduate of the year Award, Dario Carugo of University of Southampton won the postgraduate of the year Award and Linda Millett of Takeda won the Outstanding Leadership in Skills Award. Congratulations to all of them.

Finally, at the first meeting of our recently joined synthetic biology members we discussed a work plan for this group and have decided to establish a Synthetic Biology Advisory Committee which will be chaired by Tim Fell of Synthace.