Fierce UK executive summit: Biotech, Brexit, bioelectronics and finding value

In the second year of our sojourn to the U.K., we brought together leading experts and executives from across the healthcare and biotech sectors to talk on three main topics: the changing scope of value and access; bioelectronics, and Brexit.

First up, we spoke value and access from the perspectives of the NHS and NIHR and how the very idea of value and access has shifted, evolved and is continually becoming something new to payers, patients and biotech.

In our second panel, we did something a little different, and gave the floor to Kris Famm, the new CEO of a bioelectronics JV between Verily and GSK, now known as Galvani. The FierceMedicalDevices editor Amirah Al Idrus asked the big questions on what’s gone right in this burgeoning field over the years, what hasn’t worked, and just how Galvani came to be. 

Finally, we have our third panel: Brexit. Britain can be guilty of sometimes seeing itself as being bigger and more important than it is on the global stage - perhaps a residual nostalgia from its imperial days, or just optimism that it can punch above its weight. In biotech, Cambridge U.K. does not have the allure and reputation that Cambridge MA enjoys, with many also preferring to be listed above all else on the Nasdaq or NYSE, rather than the LSE or AIM. But, British biotechs can do great things, and the heads of industry, including our two panellists Jane Osbourn and Linda Summerton, defend to the hilt its ability to innovative, raise funds and weather anything thrown at it. 

This will soon be tested, as Britain in effect voted over the summer to become an outlier, to go it alone, to forge a 'New Way' separate from the Europe Union. But our panellists saw reasons for hope and optimism rather than it being an insurmountable challenge, and believe that the U.K.'s R&D is in rude health. 

Couldn't make it, or want to re-live the day? Then you're in luck as we have video, snapshots and round-ups for you below:

Opening Session- The Evolution of Value and Access in the British Health System

Speakers: Dr. Jonathan Fielden, director of specialised commissioning and deputy national medical director, NHS England and Divya Chadha Manek, head of business development (commercial), NIHR clinical research network. In our HTA panel, we heard from both speakers about value and access in England and the U.K., with discussions focused on elements such as NICE, and how health technology assessment has and continues to evolve.


Fireside Bioelectronics Chat

Fierce's Amirah Al Idrus spoke to Kris Famm, an industry vet who is heading up the new joint venture between GlaxoSmithKline and Verily, known as Galvani. Its fundamental focus is to create a new line of bioelectronic medicine. Steve Jobs was quoted as saying: “I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology.” Amirah spoke to Kris about just how this is being achieved on a practical level with Galvani; what we can expect from bioelectronics in the future; and why this business model works.


Closing Session: Innovation in R&D in the United Kingdom and the Looming Affect of Brexit

Speakers: Jane Osbourn, site leader and VP of research at MedImmune and Linda Summerton, CEO of Immodulon. In our Brexit panel, we took the temperature of the UK’s R&D as a whole with two UK-based biotech leaders, and what the looming impact of the U.K. leaving Europe will, or perhaps will not, have on innovation, venture funding flows, and scientific innovation in the country.

MedImmune's Jane Osbourn and Immodulon CEO Linda Summerton on why Brexit shouldn't be seen as doom and gloom for British biotech.