This week from BIA Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Pamela Learmonth

Steve is on leave this week, so I am stepping in to write this week’s update.

As many of you will be aware, one of the many issues that the BIA tracks and engages upon on behalf of the membership is technology transfer. Since the publication of the Dowling Review in 2015, this work has intensified with evidence to the Parliamentary Select Committee reviewing the area. The work has been driven by the Science and Innovation Advisory Committee (SIAC). Last week, the Wellcome Trust issued a statement on technology transfer collaborative commitments which are generally aligned with SIAC’s thinking. You can read the statement here.

Another important area of consideration for the industry is the use of animals in scientific research.  Earlier this month, the Home Office published its ‘annual statistics on the number of animals being used in research’ report for 2016. The report shows that 3,936,723 procedures were conducted on animals for medical, veterinary, scientific and environmental research in the UK, a decline of 5% from 2015. You can read more in our blog here and access the full report here. The BIA is a signatory of the Concordat on Openness on the Use of Animals in Research, an agreement supported by a range of organisations to commit to being open about the use of animals in research in the UK.

Last week the European Medicines Agency (EMA) published its guidance on first-in-human clinical trials, which extends the existing guidance to address first-in-human and early phase clinical trials with integrated protocols. The revision was carried out in cooperation with the European Commission and the representatives of EU Member States through the EU Clinical Trials Facilitation Group (CTFG). This guidance document addresses non-clinical issues for consideration prior to the first administration of an investigational medicinal product in humans, as well as the design and conduct of trials in the initial phase of single and ascending doses during the clinical development

Moving on to this week, applications for the Digital Health Technology Catalyst 2017 open today. Innovate UK will invest up to £8 million in projects that develop new digital technology solutions to healthcare challenges. You can find out more and apply on the government website here. If you are thinking of applying, it is important to familiarise yourself with the scope and eligibility criteria, so that your application meets all of the necessary requirements.

Finally, we are delighted to invite nominations from individuals interested in joining the BIA Board. Nominations must be received by close of business on Wednesday 6 September 2017.

This year, there are five places up for election – four for ‘Corporate’ members and one for ‘Other’ members. The elections will take place during September, and pending approval at the AGM in the autumn, those elected will join the BIA’s Board commencing 1 January 2018 and will serve a three-year term. Please notify any of your colleagues who you think may be interested.

To be eligible to stand as a Corporate member, nominees shall, at the time of their election, be Chief Executive Officers, or divisional chiefs (or their equivalent) or chairmen of a Corporate member company (except in the case of a Corporate Member which is a UK branch or subsidiary of a foreign corporation, in which case a senior representative of the UK branch or subsidiary may be appointed). Within the ‘Other’ Member category nominees shall, at the time of their election, be employees of either an Associate Member company or a Network Member company.

Only one representative from any member company may be appointed to the Board.

Please submit your nomination by the end of the day, Wednesday 6 September 2017, together with a photograph and brief biography. These should be sent to Nick Gardiner, Company Secretary: (please cc Kelly Oxenham: If you have any questions, please contact Nick Gardiner in the first instance.