The second round of Brexit negotiations took place last week in Brussels, with not much to report on in terms of progress made. The next round of talks begins at the end of August and we will keep you updated on any developments affecting the industry. For those of you who missed our Brexit webinar last week, you can catch up here.

Here in the UK, there remains much new activity as we head into the summer.

I am delighted to announce that the BIA along with a group of bioscience companies has established the BIA Rare Disease Industry Group (RDIG), which aims to develop recommendations that can address the challenge of patient access to treatments for rare and very rare conditions. Better access to treatment for people living with rare diseases has been something the BIA has advocated for many years, so I am pleased that we are able to build upon our work through this new group. You can find out more on our website here.

Another sector announcement came from One Nucleus last week who announced that its Chief Executive Harriet Fear, is moving on to become Chief Consulting Officer at MAP BioPharma after eight years in her current position. The organisation’s current Director of Business Development, Tony Jones is to become the new Chief Executive from 18th August. I wish Harriet the very best in her new role and look forward to working with Tony and One Nucleus through the United Life Sciences partnership.

Another news story you will no doubt have seen is that the ABPI is seeking a judicial review of new processes to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of medicines. This has attracted a fair amount of public attention and the BIA has therefore had to clarify that it is not party to this legal action. Ensuring that NHS patients continue to have access to innovative medicines and treatments is clearly an important objective. However, it is important that this action does not impact or delay broader industry engagement with the UK government at a time of significant external change. We will continue to communicate with the ABPI on this matter and its wider implications as the situation evolves.

As you will be aware, we have been working throughout the year with Alzheimer’s Research UK, our charity partner of the year 2017. We worked with the charity on our Celebrating UK Bioscience campaign that looked at how the Dementia Discovery Fund, launched in 2015 by Alzheimer’s Research UK, the Department of Health and global pharmaceutical companies, supported BIA member Gen2 Neuroscience in its work to tackle dementia. You can view the campaign here. We are now beginning the search for our charity of the year for 2018. You can find further information here.

Finally, before you go away for the summer, take a look at our upcoming events that we’re offering early bird discounted rates for. The UK Bioscience Forum is taking place on 12 October in London, and the Annual bioProcessUK Conference will be held in Cardiff on 29-30 November. You can book your place for the Forum here (early bird rates end on Monday 31st July) and for bioProcess here.