In a year of election surprises, government reshuffles and pivotal clinical trial results, we approach 2017 as a sector on strong footing and well positioned to navigate the new global landscape.
The resilience and quality of the UK biotech sector is evident in the number of recently announced fundraisings, company launches and wider supportive ecosystem developments, such as the new £1 billion Syncona fund and the final approval of mitochondrial donation from the UK fertility regulator. If you haven’t seen it already, there’s a great piece in today’s Times from Matt Ridley, which outlines the long line of biomedical innovations at which the British excel. Our hard work and swift reaction following the EU Referendum result has ensured that life sciences remain a government priority and we will continue to engage with government going forward as we look to establish the sector as a key pillar in the ongoing industrial strategy work.
As we look to develop a sector-wide approach, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is seeking evidence to help shape a UK bioeconomy strategy. The aim is to produce a strategy which will foster a world leading bioeconomy which is appropriate to the UK’s industrial structure and availability of natural resources. The survey is a series of questions which will help scope out the opportunities, challenges, barriers and enablers of the bioeconomy. Find out more here.
A tumultuous year has resulted in a particularly busy period for the BIA. Our latest Year in Numbers infographic looks at some of the key figures from 2016, including submitting over 20 consultation responses, achieving over 100 media mentions on Brexit and delivering 33 events across the UK. But one of the stand out figures for me this year was the £100 million committed to re-filling the Biomedical Catalyst.
The BIA was instrumental in securing the launch of the Biomedical Catalyst and has made its continuation a key campaign focus since 2013. The consistent campaigning of the BIA and our members has ensured that this key source of early-stage funding for UK bioscience companies will continue to support the development of new life-changing medical treatments, diagnostics and devices, and underpin economic growth for the future. It is a great example of a lobbying success and our new infographic details the campaign timeline, from 2009 up to 2016. Download it here.
In January we’ll be celebrating and showcasing the UK life science sector at one of the busiest weeks of the international biotech year – do join us as part of the UK delegation to JP Morgan 2017 in San Francisco.
There’s lots going on this year, including a UK reception at Marines Memorial Club, Heritage Room, 10th Floor, 609 Sutter Street on Monday 9 January, 8-10pm (please contact Jane Wall to register firstname.lastname@example.org). Biotech Showcase takes place alongside JP Morgan where I’ll be chairing a panel discussion on the real threats and opportunities of Brexit on Monday 9 January from 11-12pm. Panellists will include Lord Prior (UK Department of Health), Eliot Forster (MedCity), Chris Mayo (LSE Group) and Alison Dennis (Fieldfisher LLP). For further details on Biotech Showcase and the panel, visit the website. And finally, in preparation before you fly, BIA will be running our usual webinar on Thursday 5 January, 11-11.45am – providing the latest information on who is attending, what is going on, and how to make the most out of your time in San Francisco during one of the busiest Biotech weeks in the calendar. Sign up to the webinar by registering on this page.
But for now it’s now time for a well-deserved break! The BIA offices will be closed between Christmas and New Year (26 December to 2 January), and will re-open on 3 January.
Many thanks once again for all your input this year, without it we wouldn’t be in the strong position we are.