With the EU referendum, a new UK Government, and the US general election, 2016 has been busy but never dull for the BIA. This edition provides an update on the BIA’s influencing activity in the final quarter of the year, including continuing work on Brexit and the emerging Industrial Strategy, an action plan to anchor advanced therapy manufacturing in the UK, and a number of Parliamentary events.
Life Sciences, Brexit, and the Industrial Strategy
In the final quarter of 2016, the BIA continued to work to ensure the bioscience sector is at the heart of Government thinking in the lead-up to the triggering of Article 50 at the end of March. The UK-EU Life Sciences Transition Programme continued with key industry-Government meetings. At the Ministerial meeting on 23 November, a process for developing a new Life Sciences Industrial Strategy was established to complement the groups work on Brexit. The industry component of this work is being led by the Government’s Life Sciences Champion, Sir John Bell, with the BIA, ABPI, and Wellcome Trust, among others, represented on the steering group. The programme of work will involve a number of workshops to produce detailed ideas for consideration by a joint Government-industry board, which includes the BIA.
In November, the BIA published a background discussion document called The place of bioscience in the UK’s Industrial Strategy to begin the conversation with members and policy makers on what our sector needs to continue to grow and succeed.
BIA fiscal wins in the Autumn Statement
With his first Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond MP sought to show the UK is “open for business” and remains committed to being a science superpower post-Brexit.
An additional £4.7 billion was committed for research and innovation for this Parliament, which is expected to result in a “substantial increase in grant funding through Innovate UK”. The BIA welcomed this along with two new reviews on patient capital and improving the R&D tax incentive regime, which the BIA called for in its submission and discussed with the new Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison MP, ahead of the Autumn Statement. The BIA has upcoming meetings with the Treasury officials leading the reviews.
The Autumn Statement also confirmed the £100 million refill for the Biomedical Catalyst (BMC). We have produced an infographic showing how the BIA and its members have consistently campaigned since 2013 to keep this proven successful scheme funded to support early-stage bioscience.
Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Action Plan published
Early in 2016 the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP), supported by BIA, ABPI and Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), launched a joint industry-Government Taskforce to make the UK the go to destination for international investment in advanced therapies manufacturing. The Sector is expected to grow to be worth between $14-21 billion globally per year by 2025. The Taskforce is co-chaired by Ian McCubbin of GSK and Jo Johnson MP, with Mark Bustard of KTN leading the secretariat, and has representation from industry, academia, Government departments and associated bodies, including funders and regulators.
The resulting Action Plan, which outlines the key actions the UK can take to capture advanced therapies manufacturing investment, was launched to industry at the bioProcessUK conference on 23 November and simultaneously presented to Government at the Ministerial Industrial Strategy Group (MISG).
Download Influencing and shaping our sector: BIA update October 2016 – January 2017 for details on the above topics and more. Including the Accelerated Access Review final report, the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Action Plan and changes to the evaluation and funding of medicines appraised by NICE.