John Burt and David Gauke MP at PolyTherics

Dr John Burt and David Gauke MP at PolyTherics

Following on from engagement at the BIA Parliament Day earlier this year, David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, visited BIA member company PolyTherics at the London BioScience Innovation Centre yesterday. PolyTherics Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Burt summarised the company’s history and escorted the Minister on a tour of the labs.

The Minister was interested to know about the availability of skilled biotech workers and the importance of retaining intellectual property in the UK, in addition to financial issues which were the topic of a short focused discussion. The Minister heard from John Burt, BIA CEO Steve Bates, Atopix Therapeutics chairman Tim Edwards and Biomoti CEO Davidson Ateh about how tax-related policies and schemes have affected companies in the biotech sector. The discussion covered the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs), R&D tax credits, and the financial and reputational benefits of the Biomedical Catalyst.

There was a brief discussion around the Patent Box and the overall consensus was that although in some cases it is currently hard to plan for, the Patent Box does hold macroeconomic advantages in making the UK an attractive location for R&D, and time will tell whether it will benefit small biotech companies as well as big pharma. The BIA has produced a two-page document outlining key points to consider when planning for the Patent Box.