Longitude Prize_600_300I hope you enjoyed the Bank Holiday weekend. It gave me the chance to take stock on the BIA’s activity in the first part of the year and looking back I’m delighted to see the impact we’ve had on the the launch of the Early Access to Medicines Scheme, the Chancellor’s Budget and the rare disease debate – you can see an overview in our policy impact update for January – April 2014. Indeed our write up of our Early Access event and accompanying summary blog are worth a read if you didn’t come along. Modernising the regulatory system to ensure patients get innovative therapies as soon as possible is a key goal of the BIA and that is why I’m looking forward to discussing with the EMA how the adaptive licensing pilot will work at our event with CASMI and the ABPI next Monday.

Last week it was good to see many members at the World Stem Cell Conference in London and there were some exciting announcements from the Cell Therapy Catapult who were able to impress many global visitors with their progress with tours of their labs. The Cell Therapy Catapult are currently surveying the sector’s perceptions and priorities for the centre for 2014 and beyond – click here to give your views.

In order to identify the trends driving life sciences hiring in the UK at present, BIA member Hays Life Sciences has undertaken a comprehensive analysis of salary and benefits data across clinical, drug safety, quality assurance, regulatory, commercial, health economics, medical information and biometrics to produce their 2014 Life Sciences Salary Guide & Market Overview. It will be launched at a free-to-attend launch event and networking evening on 5 June, and you can get a sneak peak at their top-line findings here.

There’s also still a chance to join us at our upcoming events at our breakfast event in Oxford next Thursday 5 June and at our regulatory conference with the MHRA on 19 June.

The Hauser review of Catapult centres is taking evidence as we speak and the BIA will submit written evidence this week. If you have an interest in this area the TSB are holding consultation events in Oxford, Rotherham and London in the next few weeks where you can input directly – if you would like to attend, contact Zoe for further information.

If you got the voting bug from last week’s European election use your voice again and vote on the BBC Horizon website for the challenge you want tackled by the Longitude Prize 2014. It’s good to see several BIA priority areas in the shortlist. Also, the Drug Discovery of the Year Competition 2015 is now open for nominations.

Finally, Antonis Papasolomontos leaves us this week for a new role at member AbbVie. We will miss him and I’m sure I speak for all of us in thanking him for his fantastic contribution to the BIA and wishing him good luck in his new role. We are actively seeking a new Head of Public Affairs and Communications and would welcome recommendations.