Today, we have published an updated guide for BIA members on the new Unified Patent Court system due to come into effect across Europe later this year. IP owners should consult their legal advisers now to ensure their IP protection strategies will not be adversely affected by the new system. Thank you to Slaughter and May LLP and the other members of the BIA’s IP Advisory Committee for producing the useful guide.

Also today, the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) celebrates its 25th Birthday and I would like to congratulate Doris-Ann Williams and the team on the success of the organisation and we look forward to further collaboration with BIVDA during the Brexit process.

Last week, the European Commission and EMA published a notice to make companies aware of the potential implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and to consider what they would need to do to keep their products on the market in the EU if the UK fails to reach an agreement with the EU on medicines regulation. The UK Government stated in response to a parliamentary question that it was seeking “continued cooperation in the field of medicine regulation in the best interest of both the UK and the EU”. It’s clear that the coming weeks are going to set the stage for the process and nature of medicines regulation going forward and I will ensure BIA members are kept up to date on what is a fast moving situation.

Ahead of the general election, we have written to the key individuals preparing the party manifestos calling on them to support the life sciences sector in the next Parliament. We have emphasised the need to prioritise the regulation of medicines as the UK leaves the EU, the importance of continued support through Innovate UK, R&D tax credits and the patent box, and the need to address the shortage of scale-up capital for the UK’s innovative growing businesses. We covered the latest news on the General election and Brexit in Fridays webinar and if you missed it you can listen to it here.

This week, EuropaBio invites small and medium sized biotech companies (SMEs) across Europe to apply for the 8th edition of the Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award – a unique annual initiative recognising biotech innovation and its contribution to society. Depending on their field of activity, SMEs can apply in 3 categories: healthcare, agricultural or industrial biotech. Applications must be submitted online at biotechSMEawards.eu by COB Monday 26 June 2017. Two companies will be shortlisted in each category by a jury or biotech experts, with the winners celebrated during a landmark event for SMEs held in early October. Each winner will also receive a €10,000 cheque and two years free EuropaBio membership.

The next round of BIA Committee meetings launches soon and the secretariat team here at the BIA will be contacting all committee members to let you know the finer details for the meetings. If you’re not on a committee but interested in joining then check out the committee section on the BIA website for the full list of committees and their dates for the year ahead and the member of the BIA team that can help you with any questions.