This week: BIA Q3 report – A Brexit special, bioprocess awards and a Royal Celebration of our Charity partner JDRF turning 30

This month we are working hard with member experts and the government to prepare documents that will inform the next round of life science industry Ministerial meetings due at the end of the month, building on the work we’ve done in the summer on regulation, trade, people and finance for the sector. Our latest quarterly update, Influencing and shaping our sector: BIA update July – October 2016, is now available to download and gives a great update on the detail we are focused on. Unsurprisingly it’s a Brexit special this time but also covers key developments and BIA activities in the policy, public affairs and regulatory landscape.

In this edition we have provided a key section focusing on Theresa May’s Government, Industrial Strategy and Brexit, and we also celebrate the Chancellor’s commitment to re-fill the Biomedical Catalyst scheme – a very welcome result after years of advocacy by BIA and our members. Do take the time to have a look through the document, it provides a great summary of some of the key areas we’ve been working on over the past few months – and there are quite a few!

Also covered briefly in the update is the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill. The Government is introducing legislation to give new powers to the Secretary of State for Health to control prices of unbranded medicines sold by companies that are in the voluntary Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS). It will also allow them to gather more cost data from companies in the supply chain supplying the NHS.

The Bill had its first debate by MPs (2nd reading) on 24 October and was broadly supported by Labour and other parties. It will now be scrutinised in detail by a committee of MPs, who are requesting written evidence from the public and business. See the Parliament website for details on how to submit. You can also contact Martin at the BIA with your evidence to inform the BIA’s position.

In advance of the annual bioProcess UK Conference on 23-24 November, last week I was delighted to reveal the recipients of two awards to be presented at the conference. The seventh annual Peter Dunnill award for Outstanding Contribution to UK Bioprocessing will this year be presented to Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL. This year’s conference will also feature a new award for individuals or groups who are making an impact on the bioprocessing sector, entitled the Richard Wilson Impact Award named in honour of Richard Wilson, co-inventor of the Lonza GS system who passed away last year. The first winner of this award is Dr Tony Bradshaw, managing director of Bradshaw TM.

This year’s award winners have made huge contributions to our sector. Nigel has helped boost the profile of UK bioprocessing through his research partnerships that have bought together grant funding alongside industry and in-kind contributions. He is one of the key UK academics who has been willing and capable of significant industry engagement. Tony established the bioProcessUK conference when he worked with the BIA and KTN and it is testament to his hard work that this event – and crucially the culture he established – continues to flourish bringing together the top talent in UK bioprocessing. If you haven’t already registered, then there’s still time to join us and celebrate Nigel and Tony’s well-deserved awards. More details here.

November is a busy one for sector events, and kicking things off this week we have BioInfect at Alderley Park and the ARM EU Investor Day in London, at which I’ll be chairing a panel discussing how to build a successful environment for translating cell and gene therapies. Highlights to come next week.

Finally, I’d like to wish a happy 30th birthday to BIA’s charity of the year for 2016, JDRF, who celebrated in style last week at the London Guildhall in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall. The Prime Minister Theresa May was there and I was delighted to be able to explain the BIA’s partnership with JDRF to her personally and thank her for her government’s continued support for our sector in general and for the biomedical catalyst in particular. For a flavour of the research the type one diabetes charity funds, watch our recently published video on their collaboration with BIA member Arecor, creating concentrated insulin.