At a meeting of life science industry leaders, regulators and health officials at 10 Downing Street this morning, three years since the launch of the Strategy for UK Life Sciences, Life Sciences Minister George Freeman highlighted the billions of inward investment the sector has stimulated and announced a major initiative to accelerate access to innovative medicines through the NHS.
The Innovative Medicines and MedTech Review – a review of the pathway for development, assessment and adoption of 21st century medicines, devices and diagnostics – will begin in early 2015 and will consider how to speed up access to cost-effective and innovative treatments through the NHS, allowing patients to benefit from recent revolutions in drug discovery and health technology. It is hoped that creating an accelerated pathway from clinical trials to market will both encourage investment in life sciences and lead to more affordable treatments.
The latest Biomedical Catalyst awards from Rounds 5 and 6 were also announced, representing a further £31 million of investment to innovative business-led and academic-led bioscience projects through Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council. To date the total investment awarded through the Biomedical Catalyst now stands at over £200 million, attracting an additional £100 million in private investment.
The Minister for Life Science cited the recent BioIndustry Association (BIA)/EY State of the Nation report on our sector, telling the breakfast attendees that 2014 has been a banner year so far for investment in UK biotech with the nation leading Europe and having raised £734 million by the end of June alone.
After attending the breakfast Steve Bates, CEO of the BIA, commented:
"Continued government focus and commitment to the life science sector is crucial to the success of the UK life science ecosystem, so it was great to be able to share the success stories of BIA member company Biomedical Catalyst award winners in No 10.
"Today's announcement that BIA member MSD is placing its business development hub and biostatistics group in the UK is also great news for the sector.
"The new review announced today provides a good opportunity to design a new speedier path to get innovative drugs to patients. It provides a timely vehicle to discuss how clinical trials can be made faster and more efficient, how early access can be delivered and rapid uptake ensured for all NHS patients. The BIA will fully engage with the process on behalf of members, and looks forward to working together with research charities, academia, funding bodies, the NHS, government, regulators and NICE to develop this pathway in 2015.
"The digital revolution and the precision nature of the future of medicine is likely to take all groups beyond existing comfort zones and it was interesting to see that issues such as NHS capacity, NICE's approach and medical education all came up as part of the initial breakfast discussion as well as issues of uptake, access and funding."
- The government press release: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/major-investment-in-life-sciences
- The BIA's Biomedical Catalyst press release, with further information and quotes from awardees: http://bia.me/1x3lTvD
Notes to editors
- The BIA/EY report, Fundamental Strengths of the UK Ecosystem: State of the Nation 2014, is available at http://bia.me/stateofthenation2014
- Innovation capital in the State of the Nation report refers to all capital raised by UK headquartered biotech firms with annual revenues of less than £365 million ($500 million) in the first half of 2014.
Founded 25 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative enterprises involved in UK bioscience. Members include emerging and more established bioscience companies; pharmaceutical companies; academic, research and philanthropic organisations; and service providers to the bioscience sector. The BIA represents the interests of its members to a broad section of stakeholders, from government and regulators to patient groups and the media. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives. For further information, please go towww.bioindustry.org and twitter.com/BIA_UK
Public Affairs and Communications Executive, BioIndustry Association
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 020 7630 2187