Bioscience Forum 2014 web banner 600bI hope that you are enjoying the best of the British summer and are either on holiday (in which case this can wait until you are back) or enjoying a quieter couple of weeks whilst colleagues are off. If so you may have the time to reflect on a couple of pieces this week that give a good indication of how our sector is viewed by those in the government.

Business Secretary’s Vince Cable’s speech to the Mazzucato conference is interesting in terms of his views on the science industry landscape and the announcement that seven BIA member companies (AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Research & Development LLC, Lilly, Pfizer, Takeda and UCB) have a new partnership with the MRC to allow UK researchers access to a “virtual library” of stalled pharmaceutical compounds. Re-purposing abandoned compounds could lead to the development of new medicines for many debilitating conditions – such as chronic cough, where a collaboration between AstraZeneca and the MRC is already bearing fruit.

The other contribution worth a look is George Freeman’s first interview as Life Science Minister in the Independent. Glad to see he has early access to medicines high on his agenda and that he has Michael Heseltine’s old office at the Department for Business.

It’s the BIA Board tomorrow and one of the innovations introduced this year is for our expert committees to provide updates on the tireless and expert work they do on behalf of members. In order to ensure the entire membership see the excellent things they’ve been doing, for the next couple of weeks this update will be authored by Committee Chairs. I’m looking forward to hearing from them and would welcome your feedback on what they have to say too.

Finally, we are taking bookings for our award-winning UK Bioscience Forum and Autumn Reception, taking place on 7 October in London – book now to take advantage of early-bird fees.

All the best,
Steve