Stevenage_breakfast_600_300The positive run of UK biotechs accessing the London public market continued last week as Horizon Discovery traded for the first time on AIM, following Circassia’s listing earlier this month. I look forward to hearing their story at a BIA event in the coming months – but you can get a flavour from CEO Darrin Disley’s interview with CNBC.

It was also great to feel the optimistic mood in the room at our manifesto breakfast event in Stevenage, pictured above. Attendees discussed the potential of Easy Access IP to give university tech transfer offices improved opportunities to commercialise patents. It’s a collaborative project led by the University of Glasgow, King’s College London and the University of Bristol to promote new ways of sharing intellectual property (IP) and to adopt new approaches which make it easier for universities and industry to work together.

Tech transfer is a topic which has been on our radar lately, as many of you will have seen. As part of our life science manifesto development, we have been asking the sector for views on how well tech transfer works, and just last week the House of Commons announced an inquiry into business-university collaboration. We will be responding to the inquiry, focusing particularly on tech transfer, Catapult centres and the eight great technologies. If you have views you’d like us to represent, please get in touch with Zoe Freeman.

Empower, a campaign group set up by the late Les Halpin for improving access to medicines, held a parliamentary reception last week attended by patients’ families, alongside George Freeman MP and the Minister for Health Earl Howe. Empower welcomed the recent announcements of a UK Early Access to Medicines Scheme and an Adaptive Licensing Pilot in Europe and announced a medical innovation manifesto for patients, aiming to see patients having a greater voice in their treatment and to develop more adaptive pathways for clinical research and medical innovation.

Finally I am particularly looking forward to SynBioBeta this week, hosted at Imperial College in conjunction with the new Synthetic Biology Innovation and Knowledge Centre SynbiCITE. Following on from an academic focus and welcome reception on Wednesday, Thursday 3 April will be a business-focused day of panel discussions and talks from BIA members, startups, industry players, investors and partners in the growing synthetic biology ecosystem. I will be among those speaking and if you’re interested to attend, BIA members can register using code ‘PK232’ for a 20% discount.