Q2 2016 report for Newscast

As you’ll have noticed, we’ve given our usual Newscast format a minor makeover! All your favourite content is still available – including the latest news from BIA members, jobs and links to our blog – but we’ve simplified the layout to help you access what you’re most interested in. If you have any feedback we’d be keen to hear it, just drop us an email on newscast@bioindustry.org.

Last week we published the latest BIA quarterly policy and regulatory affairs update. The document gives an overview of key policy developments and the BIA’s continued engagement with policymakers, regulatory authorities and wider stakeholders on behalf of the UK life sciences industry, from April to July 2016. In this edition, following the public’s historic vote to leave the EU, we update on developments so far, the BIA’s position and practical areas for focus going forward. We also update on the changes afoot for Innovate UK and innovation policy, plus developments around orphan medicinal products and biosimilars, and a report of the BIA-MHRA conference. You can read the short summary blog here or download the report in full here.

Published alongside the quarterly update, we’ve also produced a quick briefing for members on the new Government and key ministerial appointments. It will be updated as information emerges. You can download the guide here. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has today published the full list of ministerial responsibilities within the department. Jo Johnson MP will have life sciences within his remit and Nick Hurd MP will have advanced manufacturing.

Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industry held a reception last week to introduce his new ministerial team. I attended and met a number of the new team, including Jo Johnson. The Secretary of State spoke about the importance of having an industrial strategy, which he said is a personal priority of the Prime Minister that he has been tasked to deliver. He talked about a new industrial strategy being long term, predictable and sustainable and spoke of the importance of alignment and connection between Government Departments, industries and sectors.

The work of the UK EU Life Sciences Transition Programme is continuing at pace over the summer. Last week workshops on regulation, manufacturing and supply, fiscal and R&D all took place, with the IP workshop being held today. PwC are running the workshops and will be drafting the report. In advance of the fiscal workshop PwC circulated a draft paper to the workshop attendees to trigger discussion, they have also been circulating pre-reading in advance of each workshop. These documents are available to BIA members for their information only upon request. The next stage is for PwC to start bringing together the information from the workshops. To assist with this the Co-Chairs of the Working Groups will be meeting in August to consider where there are overlaps between the topic areas. We will also start working with PwC and ABPI to produce the overall “narrative” for the work. A draft report will be produced around 22 August and members may request a copy of this. We are also continuing ongoing engagement with BIA members and there will be another townhall for members towards the end of August to give you an opportunity to ask questions about the process. Additionally, for both stakeholders and members, there is a webinar on Friday 2 September that will share further information about the report – details to follow.

Last week’s decision by GSK to invest an extra £275 million across the UK is a welcome boost to life sciences and highlights the draw of the fantastic ecosystem we have here. The UK has a strong and supportive fiscal environment, world-leading science base and the largest number of pipeline products in development throughout Europe.

In other member news, I was delighted to hear last week’s announcement of a new collaboration between BIA member Arecor and JDRF, our Charity of the Year. The goal of the partnership is to accelerate the development of a stable, rapid-acting, ultra-concentrated insulin – a critical step towards the advancement of the miniaturisation of delivery devices, including next-generation artificial pancreas systems for people with type 1 diabetes. A reminder that applications for our Charity of the Year in 2017 must be received by 12 August – get in touch with esexton@bioindustry.org for more details.