Julian Huppert MP to hold parliamentary debate on science and research on 4 June
This week Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert has secured a parliamentary debate to help push science and research up the government’s agenda. The Cambridge MP has said that the debate, on Tuesday will focus on the policy paper he wrote detailing a package of measures to support pure and applied research and development and the need for more and sustained government funding for science and research. I’m hopeful that the need for the continuation of the Biomedical catalyst is also raised in the debate as government funding of science, research and early stage companies is crucial for our sector and Julian’s efforts to drive this issue forwarded should be applauded by us all.

As the proposed EU Clinical Trials Regulation passes increasingly slowly through the legislatory “sausage machine”, last week’s vote in the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety marked a key step along the path to approval. The committee approved an amended draft of the regulation, which is designed to replace the existing directive with simpler, more harmonised rules. I am in Brussels today (Monday 1 June) discussing industry concerns about several issues in the amended text with the heads of other European biotech associations and EuropaBio. It is also becoming apparent that on present timescales this whole process may not complete before the next European Parliament elections and therefore fall. That’s why we are highlighting the changes in the Voluntary Harmionisation Procedure (VHP) recently agreed by the Clinical Trials Facilitation Group that make an immediate practical difference to members in the future planning multi-national trials.

I am looking forward to our joint conference with the MHRA on Wednesday. We have an excellent line-up of speakers and I hope to see you there.