Boris_MedCity_Imanova_scan_600_300You may well have noticed the launch of MedCity in the media this week. This is a really promising initiative which will impact our sector and has already involved several BIA members. Boris Johnson is pictured above testing out Imanova’s 3D scanning technology in honour of the event, and there’s a great five minute clip of Bloomberg interviewing Eliot Forster (Chairman of MedCity and CEO of Creabilis) on what MedCity will do. With members from across the UK, I maintain that together we are the most vibrant cluster in Europe – and that many companies and academics outside the south east have multiple links with firms and academics within the south east. For me having MedCity as a champion of life science – influential in the financial hub of the City of London – will stand to benefit our sector as a whole. As Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise, writing in our blog argues, MedCity will drive investment here from around the world.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to chat with members of the science and investment communities or to meet with Kit and the MedCity team come along to our Science and Finance in the City networking evening on 15 May. Last year’s was a great success, and we’ll be back in London’s Living Room at City Hall.

If you are not in the south east perhaps getting to our next BIA Breakfast in Nottingham, on Thursday 24 April fits well with your diary. We’ll be keen to pick your brains on topics that will inform our manifesto policy development with OneNucleus, BioPartner UK and Bionow. For a chance to vent your views come along or contact us on – recent topics have included Biomedical Catalyst funding, tech transfer and the availability of lab space.

This week Health Minister Earl Howe convened a meeting to galvanise the UK community to take advantage of two policy initiatives of recent weeks – the new adaptive licensing pilot at the EMA and the Earlier Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS) here in the UK. It was truly an example of the “all hands on deck” approach as No. 10, Sir John Bell, the Department of Health, NICE, the MHRA, CASMI, NHS England and trade associations plotted the way forward for UK companies to take full advantage of these innovative schemes.

I hope you’ll have a relaxing Easter break this weekend. There will be no Newscast on Easter Monday so the next edition will be Monday 28 April. That morning we’ll have our joint event with ABPI on EAMS – the event is now fully booked with a waiting list, which just goes to show the appetite in the sector for more information and a chance to discuss this new scheme. I am looking to work with others to set up a similar event on the adaptive licensing process soon too – watch this space – and our conference with the MHRA will also be a good chance to understand the regulatory innovations in the pipeline.

On Easter Sunday 20 April our charity of the year Fight for Sight will be featured in a BBC1 Lifeline Appeal, presented by Judy Finnigan, whose mother lost her sight with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The appeal will hopefully raise lots of money and awareness of the importance of eye research. Your donations at our Gala Dinner this year have been totted up and verified, and I’m pleased to say that in total you raised very close to £30,000 before gift aid. Fight for Sight have called this a truly remarkable result and said that they are just so grateful for your support.