Archives for the month of: November, 2015

bioProcessUK 2015 dinner

This week: our first thoughts following last week’s Spending Review and Autumn Statement; highlights from this year’s bioProcessUK Conference; and simplifying the UK Medicines Manufacturing Landscape – a new web portal from the KTN on behalf of the MMIP…

The big news from last week (aside from the monumental $160bn Pfizer/Allergan deal) was of course the much anticipated 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement. As this was a top-line statement, we do not have all the answers yet and relevant details will form over the coming weeks and months, but there are some strong signals of the direction of travel that are important to note.

Whilst further details are yet to emerge, the fact that the science budget is protected in real terms, rising to £5.2 billion by 2020, is incredibly positive in the wider context of cuts. This is testament to the collaborative effort from the science community to underline the importance of science investment, as set out in the BIA’s Spending Review evidence pack. It is also great to see a new announcement of an initial £4m investment to establish an Antimicrobial Resistance Centre of Excellence in Research and Development at Alderley Park.

Following the publication of the Nurse Review last week, the Spending Review confirms that structural change is underway for Research Councils. Subject to legislation the Government will introduce a new body, Research UK, which will work across the seven Research Councils. The Government will look to integrate Innovate UK into Research UK in order to strengthen collaboration and commercialisation between academia and the business community, though Innovate UK will retain a separate funding stream and business focus.

Innovate UK looks to have received a flat cash settlement and some of their existing grants will be replaced with loans, meaning existing schemes like the Biomedical Catalyst may not continue in their existing form. What is essential now is to track this development and ensure fit for purpose initiatives are developed for high risk, high innovation sectors such as bioscience and that Innovate UK can continue to effectively bridge the valley of death for early stage research in life sciences.

The BIA is also concerned that the rate of the new apprenticeship levy could have significant and arguably unfair impact on firms operating in sectors such as life sciences where the proportion of employees in highly skilled and qualified roles is higher and we will be seeking further clarification on proposals from the Government.

For more on the above, do read our blog from the day detailing our first thoughts on the statement.

It was great to see the bioprocessing community out in force last week with over 300 attendees descending upon the new Wellcome Trust Genome Campus for the 12th Annual bioProcessUK Conference, “Manufacturing tomorrow’s medicines today”. Advances in biologics have catalysed an evolution in the medicines manufacturing industry in recent years, and will continue to do so going forward. This evolution brings with it both opportunities and challenges – something highlighted by Dr Mark Carver, this year’s recipient of the Peter Dunnill Award, in his lecture on Wednesday evening. Also looking to the future, Melanie Georgiou, UCL, was the winner of the Poster Flash competition, beating off stiff competition from 14 other young researchers, for her fascinating presentation of her academic research into an off-the-shelf therapy for spinal cord injury. Many congratulations to Melanie, and to all the young researchers who took part.

Following a fantastic conference dinner at the iconic Imperial War Museum, Duxford, on Thursday morning delegates heard the latest in the cell therapy space, with a focus on the recent explosion in T cell therapies and also an update on the Cell Therapy Catapult’s £55 million cell and gene therapy manufacturing centre in Stevenage.

The conference also saw the launch of a new web portal, designed by the KTN on behalf of the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP), which provides a simple and accessible platform outlining the UK’s strengths and capabilities in medicines manufacturing. It was great to have Mark Bustard, KTN, presenting on the day to provide a walk-through of the portal at the conference. More information and details on how to use the portal can be found here or access the portal itself

We are already looking forward to events for 2016 with our Events flyer – download here and get the dates in your diary.

Best

Steve

Earlier this month, the turf was cut and construction initiated on Cell Therapy Catapult’s £55 million cell and gene therapy manufacturing centre in Stevenage. The Cell Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre is due to be completed and opened in 2017. When completed, the venue will be spread over a 7,200m2 area.

The centre will directly create up to 150 specialist jobs, and many more additional roles in the cluster that grows around it. The UK government and Cell Therapy Catapult also anticipate the centre will attract considerable inward investment to the UK. Most importantly, by providing a direct solution to central challenges for the development of cellular therapies, it will speed up the developments of critically needed treatments for patients in the UK and internationally.

Do you have a video you would like the sector to see? Contact us.

Osborne CSR 2015

Earlier today the Chancellor delivered his much anticipated 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement (you can see all the full documentation here and speech here).

Back in July the Chancellor set out his political narrative when delivering his Budget Statement. The goal to evolve the UK to a higher wage, lower tax and low welfare economy was set out then and echoed again today.

Today’s focus was on how the Conservative Government would deliver the cuts to public spending that it received a mandate to do at the General Election. Revised forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility allowed the Chancellor some latitude on how he would meet the projected government surplus. However, whilst the statement was therefore far from the overall tone of doom and gloom that some had predicted, and some budgets were protected or increased (for example defence, international development and policing), it was still an outline of how £12bn of savings would be made from government departmental spending.

So what does it all mean for the UK’s bioscience sector?

As this is a top-line statement, we do not have all the answers today and relevant details will form over the coming weeks and months, but there are some strong signals of the direction of travel that are important to note.

Firstly, the Chancellor has today announced that the science resource budget is protected in real terms and will rise to £5.2bn by 2020. This sits alongside the previously announced £6.9bn in the capital budget. Whilst further details are yet to emerge, this outcome in the wider context of cuts is incredibly positive and is testament to the effort that the science community has made collaboratively to underline the importance of science investment, as set out in the BIA’s Spending Review evidence pack.

Secondly, Innovate UK looks to have received a flat cash settlement. In his speech the Chancellor stated that “spending on our new catapult centres will increase” and the text of the report states “the Spending Review and Autumn Statement increases investment in catapult centres”. No further detail is provided as of yet. As widely trailed, the Government today announced that it “will introduce new finance products to support companies to innovate” replacing some existing Innovate UK grants and reach “£165m per year by 2019/2020”. This suggests that the Government’s recent narrative of “loans not grants” has won the day and that existing schemes such as the Biomedical Catalyst may not continue in their current form. We will be working with Innovate UK and others to understand what this means in practice and how it will impact the life sciences sector. The BIA understands that the Government has been impressed by the approach taken in France by bpifrance (the French Innovate UK/British Business Bank) with whom the BIA has previously engaged with on Citizens’ Innovation Funds. What is essential now is to track this development and ensure fit for purpose initiatives are developed for high risk, high innovation sectors such as bioscience and that Innovate UK can continue to effectively bridge the valley of death for early stage research in life sciences. This will be the BIA’s key focus over the next period of time.

Thirdly, following the publication of the Nurse Review last week, today’s statement has confirmed that structural change is underway for Research Councils. Subject to legislation the Government will introduce a new body, Research UK, which will work across the seven Research Councils. The Government will look to integrate Innovate UK into Research UK in order to strengthen collaboration and commercialisation between academia and the business community, though Innovate UK will retain a separate funding stream and business focus.

Finally, looking across to the Department of Health (DH). Following yesterday’s announcement that the NHS is to receive an additional £10 billion a year above inflation by 2020, with £6 billion ‘frontloaded’ in the first year of the Spending Review, it is encouraging to see Dame Sally Davies’ statement welcoming the protected funding settlements for the DH R&D budget (including NIHR). It is also great to see a new announcement of an initial £4m investment to establish an Antimicrobial Resistance Centre of Excellence in Research and Development at Alderley Park, subject to the usual business case analysis.

Naturally, the full statement contains a raft of interesting references restating the Government’s position in relation to tax, the Northern Powerhouse, devolution, skills, UKTI and the wider business environment.

One particular announcement the BIA will be exploring in further depth is the detail of the previously announced apprenticeship levy. Today’s statement announces that the levy will be introduced in April 2017, applied to businesses with a paybill of more than £3m and at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s paybill to deliver 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. Further to the BIA’s response to a previous consultation on the levy, we are concerned that the rate of the levy could have significant and arguably unfair impact on firms operating in sectors such as life sciences where the proportion of employees in highly skilled and qualified roles is higher and we will be seeking further clarification on proposals from the Government.

We will be compiling a more detailed analysis of this wider information but we hope this concise summary assists BIA members and the broader bioscience sector with an understanding of the key directions of travel the Statement points to and highlights where we will be focusing our attention in the near-term.

As ever, do contact us with queries or comments and we look forward to keeping in touch on this live and significant policy development.

JDRF logo

We are delighted to announce that the BIA’s official charity of the year for 2016 will be JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charity. The BIA will be supporting the charity to raise funds and will be working with the JDRF team to see how the two organisations can work together to promote the vital role that UK bioscience plays in solving unmet patient need. Here, Dr Clare McVicker, Director of Research Advocacy at JDRF, explains more about the charity and the opportunities our new partnership could bring in 2016 – for both JDRF and for BIA members.

I am delighted that JDRF has been chosen as BIA’s charity partner for 2016. I lead our Research Advocacy efforts in the UK, seeking and developing new partnerships to speed progress in type 1 research. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition affecting millions of people worldwide. It can only be treated by giving replacement insulin – an imprecise process that changes daily, with serious short and long term consequences of getting it wrong.

However, fundamental research is now showing us more and more opportunities to intervene in the progression of this life-long, life-threatening condition. The promise of a cure is finally becoming more tangible – and JDRF exists to ensure that promise is realised as soon as possible

I am proud to say that we support research along the full length of the development pipeline, from basic underpinning research, to further understand the pathophysiology of type 1 diabetes, to clinical trials.

But we don’t stop there. At JDRF, we work with regulators too, ensuring that they have the right evidence to assess new developments against meaningful outcome measures. And we also advocate for people with type 1 to be able to access new treatments by working with NICE and SIGN, ensuring their guidance reflects the impact of new developments on day to day life with type 1 diabetes, not just ‘the numbers game’ to which managing type 1 can sometimes be reduced.

I see this new partnership with BIA as an opportunity to accelerate the delivery of new treatments to patients with type 1 diabetes.  I know that it can sometimes be difficult for BIA members to gain a patient’s perspective on something under development – I can help you make those connections.

Although the walls are coming down, there are still some barriers preventing academics and industry from working together productively. Again I can help BIA members to make connections and overcome these barriers, helping you to share expertise, tools and resources and develop new collaborations.

As a funder with a sizeable annual budget for new research around the world, we can also be a powerful ally. I think JDRF is leading the charge for medical research charities because we have long embraced a role in proving concepts and de-risking early phase research in partnership with companies.  We also know that BIA members have expertise that we don’t – I want to work with you to understand how research projects that we have identified as promising science that needs support, could be made as commercially viable as possible. I hope we will be able to facilitate the development of innovative new start-ups or spin-outs with products to transform the lives of people with type 1 by creating syndicates of funders.

So while I hope being the BIA’s charity of the year raises lots of money that we can use to improve the lives of people with type 1, I also hope the partnership will catalyse new relationships that can smooth the path to a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Please call me to chat about how your expertise could be applied to type 1 diabetes. From diagnostic tools to innovative materials or knowledge of regulatory processes and access to compound libraries there are myriad ways for us to work together – let’s use 2016 to find out what they are!

Newscast compliationKicking off this week with some great news, I’m delighted to be able to announce that our official charity of the year for 2016 will be JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charity. The BIA will be supporting the charity to raise funds and will be working with the JDRF team to see how the two organisations can work together to promote the vital role that UK bioscience plays in solving unmet patient need. Increased understanding of the immune attack that causes type 1 means that we are closer than ever to eradicating the condition. UK scientists are working together to produce revolutionary new treatments that could both cure and prevent type 1, a condition which can have a devastating impact on those who live with it and their families. The whole team at the BIA is excited to be supporting the work of JDRF in 2016 and January’s Gala Dinner will ensure that this partnership gets off to a successful start.

In other good news, congratulations to the BIA’s Pamela Learmonth who was selected as a Rising Star in this year’s 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness report. This year’s report showcases just some of the brilliant female leaders in our sector who are playing a key role in driving the growth of UK bioscience, and it was great to hear from a number of them at the BioBeat Conference on Friday (check out #BioBeat15 on Twitter for details from the conference). The sector faces critical challenges in securing bright, skilled staff with entrepreneurial fair and leadership élan. 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2015 demonstrates that this talent is out there and I hope that by showing the range of opportunities to succeed on offer will help pave the way for the next generation of female talent.

November is proving to be a busy month in policy. The big event this week is the Chancellor’s comprehensive Spending Review and Autumn Statement this Wednesday. As many of you will know, at BIA we have taken every opportunity to advocate for the protection of the science and innovation budgets that underpin the UK life sciences sector: cross-sector open letters in the national press in support of basic research funding and innovation funding; roundtable discussions with the Financial Secretary to the Treasury; reporting the great success of the Biomedical Catalyst in leveraging additional private funding among wider benefits; briefing MPs ahead of parliamentary debates, and more. And crucially, many of you have written directly to the Chancellor and Business Secretary to give tangible examples of the innovative companies and projects that government support is helping to thrive – thank you again, as we know that these have been well-received and effective when landing in Ministers’ in-trays. We collated a final evidence round-up last week, which you can see here.

Of course, we have all been forewarned that this will be a very tough Spending Review… The Government has a mandate to reduce the deficit, and it has asked every department to model 25% and 40% budget cuts. The science budget has previously been ring-fenced in flat cash terms against a backdrop of cuts, and rumours are circulating that innovation grants may be changed to loans of some sort – one of the topics prompting discussion at our CEO dinner last week. On Wednesday BIA will provide top-line commentary by email on the CSR and its initial implications for our sector, and we’ll keep in touch as more specific details (the devil is always in the small print and won’t emerge on the day) are revealed over the coming weeks. I don’t expect to see specific mention of the Biomedical Catalyst in Wednesday’s statement.

Last Thursday saw the publication of Sir Paul Nurse’s long-awaited review of the Research Councils. While the implications of the report won’t be entirely clear until the Spending Review has been announced and the Government has responded, on first reflections there are recommendations to tentatively welcome. These include maintaining the seven existing councils, continuing the science funding ring-fence, and placing more importance on the councils’ engagement with businesses and collaboration with Innovate UK. The key change proposed is that the existing councils will sit under Research UK (RUK), an arm’s length body with more responsibility than the current Research Councils UK, that would have budgetary control and accountability for spend on science and research across the councils.

Also last week, BIA sent in a short submission to the Lords Science and Technology Select Committee’s inquiry into EU Membership and the Effectiveness of Science, Research and Innovation in the UK. To complement other submissions noting various relevant funding streams and the benefit of free movement of skilled employees, BIA’s submission highlights a few angles of particular relevance to industry. We’ve stressed the need for more impartial information and recommended that the Government should set out the practical implications for life science businesses of a) the UK staying in a reformed EU, and b) how it would approach the legal and regulatory implications of a vote to leave the EU (such as how it would expect to handle the European Medicines Agency and the Unified Patent Court potentially leaving London, how medicines would continue to be approved and regulated, and an assessment of the impact on inward investment). The findings of the inquiry will help to shape further debate ahead of the referendum.

Finally, on events, the thriving bioscience community in Manchester was in the spotlight last Thursday at the last in our series of Science and Finance Breakfasts for 2015. Throughout the year we’ve travelled across the length and breadth of the UK as part of the Breakfast roadshow – from Stevenage, to Nottingham, to Manchester and beyond. Check out our events calendar for details on planned BIA events and activities in 2016.

Looking to this week, we now have over 300 attendees travelling to Hinxton for the bioProcessUK Conference, I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Best

Steve

As the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week comes to a close, today’s video features a 2013 TEDx talk by Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies on the dangers of antibiotic resistance.

Already antimicrobial resistance claims the lives of 25,000 people every year in Europe, and this is expected to rise to 390,000 deaths every year by 2050. Globally, the annual death rate is expected to rise to 10m by 2050.

With the world on the cusp of a ‘post-antibiotic era’, we joined forces with AstraZeneca and other industry bodies to publish an open letter in Monday’s Financial Times, calling on the UK government to take a global lead by implementing a new economic model that encourages the development of much needed new antibiotics.

Do you have a video you would like the sector to see? Contact us.

Earlier this month, for the third year we travelled to San Francisco with the UK delegation to SynBioBeta, a key conference for the synthetic biology or ‘engineering biology’ community. Here, we take a look back at some highlights of the trip – three days immersed in this burgeoning synthetic biology business and science community – and include a few links to find out more.

Supported by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), this year the trade mission organisers and funders were SynbiCITE, the synthetic biology innovation and knowledge centre based at Imperial College London.

The 2015 UK delegation included BIA members SynbiCITE, Synthace, Synpromics, Touchlight Genetics and ZuvaSyntha, alongside Alcmene Bioworks, Bento Bioworks, BioVernier, Desktop Genetics, LabGenius, Nanocage Technologies, Skillfluence, and SynbiSTRAIN; more information on all the companies is included in the trade mission brochure. Also at the conference were staff from the Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology at the University of Edinburgh, and BIA member Ingenza.

Prior to the SynBioBeta conference the delegation was kindly hosted for visits to six local companies, including sink-or-swim start-up incubator Indie-Bio, sonic liquid handling systems company Labcyte, cell-free protein synthesis company Sutro Biopharma, and REG Life Sciences (whose interesting background is explained here). We also returned to two of last year’s hosts – DNA design and assembly platform TeselaGen, and robotic cloud laboratory provider Transcriptic.

Sessions and lightning talks from the two-day conference covered topics such as biodesign, open source biology, gene editing, automation and international policy, while workshops included ‘designing experiments for Cas9-mediated gene knockouts’, and ‘protocols for cloud-based biology’. In the inaugural ‘SynBioBetas’ awards it was great to see recognition for BIA Board member Lord David Willetts, who was named the Best UK Industry Enabler for his efforts supporting the UK synthetic biology sector in his former role as Minister for Universities and Science.

A notable and important change at the SynBioBeta conference this year was the increased level of interest in the UK companies, as evidenced by the numerous conversations and business leads generated around the UKTI lounge area. As well as continuing to see exciting new start-ups emerging (some of which have received a great deal of interest from potential collaborators), there are also signs that the UK synbio scene is maturing; just one example illustrating this is the recent announcement from Synthace and MSD on their collaboration to develop a biomanufacturing platform for a number of undisclosed molecules.

For a flavour of this year’s trade mission and conference we’ve included a selection of photos below and you can look back over the tweets using the hashtag #SBBSF15.

The next SynBioBeta conference, SynBioBeta London 2016 will take place at Imperial College London on 6-8 April 2016 and is accepting speaker applications now.

If you are interested to find out more about the synthetic biology industry and the application of engineering principles to tackle biological challenges, contact Zoë Freeman, Secretariat for the BIA’s Synthetic Biology Advisory Committee

OneStart_Keregen_2As we approach the application deadline for OneStart 2016 (Tuesday 1 December), today’s guest blog comes from 2015 European winner, Keregen. Here, Jemma Gatliff charts the growth of the company from its inception to the impact of being crowned last year’s winner of OneStart Europe. 

It is nearly a year since we entered OneStart Europe 2015 as Keregen, an early stage drug discovery company focused on the development of small molecules with disease modifying activity in disorders where there is an unmet clinical need.

The seeds of Keregen were planted back in 2012, when Nikolaos was awarded a Bloomsbury Colleges PhD studentship to work under the guidance of Dr. Geoff Wells, School of Pharmacy, University College London (UCL SoP), and Dr. Michelangelo Campanella, Royal Veterinary College (RVC). Dr. Wells has spent several years understanding the mechanisms of Nrf2 regulation through the evaluation of molecular probes, and collaborative projects with leaders in the Nrf2 pharmacology field for instance Albena Dinkova-Kostova and John Hayes of the University of Dundee. During his PhD, Nikolaos worked with Dr. Wells on the discovery of novel chemical compounds that activate Nrf2, a transcription factor that regulates a number of cytoprotective and antioxidant genes. Much excitement came about a year ago when he obtained some new data that showed some of his latest compounds were very potent Nrf2 inducers and had the potential to be developed further into preclinical candidates.

I met Nikolaos as part of the Bloomsbury Colleges PhD program and we got to know each other more when he spent time towards the end of his PhD working on a mitochondrial biology aspect of his project with Dr. Campanella, who is also my former PhD and postdoctoral supervisor, and whose group discovered that certain Nrf2 inducers can activate a process called mitophagy. When Nikolaos told me his latest results, I suggested that we enter OneStart 2015 with a proposal based on the development of his compounds as drugs for slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease, one of my own research interests and a therapeutic indication where Nrf2 activation is likely to have meaningful patient benefit. I had heard about OneStart from the Oxbridge Biotechnology Roundtable and in fact I was there to watch Toby, Millie and Rob, founders of Eva Diagnostics, crowned winners at OneStart Europe 2014. Realising the importance of a well-rounded skill-set in the team, Nikolaos and I joined up with Hervé Guyon (Société Générale) and Christoph Dietrich (Bank of America Merrill Lynch), who complemented our scientific know-how with their business skills and the four of us embarked on the incredible journey that is OneStart.

OneStart_Keregen_1We were ecstatic when we realized we had made it to the final 35 semi-finalist teams and were matched up with our mentors – Ilan Zipkin, Takeda Ventures and David Phillips, SROne. With their invaluable mentorship as well as the inputs from countless others, including Andy Sandham, Declan Jones, Rod Porter to name but a few, we have grown exponentially as individuals and as a viable company.

Our core management team now includes myself, Nikolaos and Geoff and since winning OneStart six months ago, we have managed to grow Keregen’s network across continents, building collaborations with institutions and companies that will accelerate our development program. We are working with Olswang and Silicon Valley Bank, both sponsors of OneStart who have been a tremendous help in all manners of start-up affairs. Part of our OneStart prize has also been membership with the BIA whose networking events have helped introduce Keregen to the wider biotech community and we are now proud to be working with even more advisors as a result including Keith Powell, Canbex Therapeutics. We look forward to the many forthcoming events the BIA has to offer and continuing to work with them to help propel Keregen forwards to the next level.

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported us so far and we are excited for what the future has in store. The last 12 months have been a whirlwind of learning and I encourage any budding young entrepreneurs to enter OneStart 2016 – it has without doubt been the best experience of my life and certainly Keregen’s.

Find out more about OneStart 2016 here and watch this previous member video to hear more about Keregen.

Gauke_SBC_600x300Those of you who are regular Radio 4 listeners in the early hours may have heard me make a brief appearance on this morning’s Today programme, talking about antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Published in today’s FT, as we enter World Antibiotic Awareness Week (with European Antibiotic Awareness Day on Wednesday) we’ve written a joint letter urging the UK government to take a global lead by implementing a new economic model that encourages the development of much needed new antibiotics. Already antimicrobial resistance claims the lives of 25,000 people every year in Europe, and this is expected to rise to 390,000 deaths every year by 2050. Globally, the annual death rate is expected to rise to 10m by 2050 and cost the world economy $100tn a year. While new global systems are being established the government must consider an alternative national reimbursement model for antibiotics that encourages new antibiotic development, securing the future of antibiotics in the short and medium term. You can read the letter in full here, plus coverage in the FT and BBC. You can also listen again to the Today programme (from 25 mins in).

Last week we were delighted to meet with Treasury Minister David Gauke MP at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (pictured). The Minister has previously taken the time to visit other BIA companies so it was great to build on his interest and introduce him to the facilities incorporated at the Catalyst as well as meeting with CEOs from companies at or close by to the Catalyst to discuss a variety of issues of mutual interest.

Last Thursday, to coincide with this year’s Alliance for Regenerative Medicine European Investor Day, of which the BIA is the regional partner, we launched a new briefing paper on Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs). The briefing paper reveals a significant new level of interest in cell and gene therapies in 2015 and showcases the BIA’s work in this area to raise awareness around regulatory changes for 2016 that will impact on the development of ATMPs. It’s vital that the UK becomes not just a great laboratory for ATMPs but a great place for them to be commercialised. In this the UK faces stiff competition from Japan where the possibility to gain reimbursement after conditional approval is making it an attractive market for the development of ATMPs. The BIA will focus on strategies for making ATMPs profitable therapies addressing unmet medical needs – not just clever science with regulatory approval, and look forward to working with members on this next step of the journey.

The Investor Day itself included some great company presentations, showcasing just a taster of the fantastic developments being made in the field across Europe. For a re-cap of the day, check out this Storify from GE Healthcare’s Conor McKechnie.

Also taking place last week, BioInfect saw Lord Jim O’Neill take to the stage to present the findings from the independent review on AMR, including his ten point plan for beating drug resistance. His slides are available to view here and you can get all the stories from the day by searching #BioInfect on Twitter.

We’ll be heading back up to Manchester this week for our CEO Dinner and the latest in our series of BIA Breakfasts, with speakers Dr Gareth King from the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Science fund, Dr Stephen Little, CEO of Premaitha Health and Ned Wakeman, Director of Biohub at Alderley Park. Our CEO Dinner promises to be great evening of discussion and debate, with a focus on the Spending Review ahead of the big event next Wednesday. More updates to follow next week.

It’s another busy week for the sector with the FT Global Pharma and Biotech, Consilium Investor Relations and Jeffries Healthcare conferences all taking place in London, and we’ll be heading to the Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton on Friday for BioBeat15. The campus in Hinxton is also the chosen location for the 12th Annual bioProcessUK Conference taking place next week – there’s still time to register to attend if you haven’t already done so. View the full line-up here.

And finally, I’m sorry to say that Karen Chandler-Smith, the BIA’s Director of Business Development and Membership Services, has decided to leave the BIA after nine highly successful years. Karen has been the driving force behind a host of BIA successes. She has not only masterminded our highly successful events programme with its keynote Gala Dinner but also created from scratch the award winning UK Bioscience Forum. Karen’s calm presence organizing the UK company stands at the annual BIO conference in the USA will be sorely missed by BIA members large and small. We wish Karen success in her new role helping establish the UK’s Precision Medicine Catapult and look forward to working with her there. As a result we are recruiting her replacement – more information can be found on our website.

Best

Steve

Today’s video showcase features charity Parkinson’s UK.

Despite huge scientific progress, there have been no major advances in Parkinson’s treatments in the last decade. Watch the animated video below to find out how Parkinson’s UK are helping to find new and better treatments – tackling the critical road blocks, filling in the gaps and investing in big ideas that will speed up the whole process and deliver treatments to the people who need them, faster.

For more information, visit http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/content/about-our-research

Do you have a video you would like the sector to see? Contact us.