New figures published today (Thursday 24 January 2019) by the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Informa Pharma Intelligence reveal that the UK biotech sector raised a record £2.2 billion from investors in 2018. The total is the best ever recorded by the trade association and almost double that raised in 2017.
The data is presented in the report Confident capital: backing UK biotech and launched by the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick MP, at the BIA's Strategic Technologies event in central London today.
Supported by a prestigious Research Training Fellowship, Dr Apostolos Papandreou is leading a study to help children with the rare, devastating and, sadly, life limiting neurological disease known as BPAN.
What inspired you to investigate this particular area?
As a paediatric neurology registrar, I specialise in caring for children with conditions that affect the nervous system, including a disease called BPAN. After a period of developmental delay and, often, epilepsy in early childhood, children with BPAN deteriorate significantly over time, developing abnormal muscle tone, features resembling Parkinson’s disease and symptoms of dementia. Unfortunately, it is a progressive, life-limiting disorder and there are currently no drugs that can improve or cure BPAN.
Steve Bates OBE, CEO of the BIA said:
“It’s great to see the UK government and NHS committed to exploring a new payment model for antibiotics in our market. The UK took a lead in putting Anti Microbial Resistance (AMR) on the global agenda and it’s really good to see it taking a first mover advantage on innovative pricing and reimbursement for AMR.
I look forward to welcoming the BIA community to our Gala dinner tomorrow evening. It’s the biggest night of the year in the UK biosciences calendar, with close to 700 delegates from across the sector getting together for great food, networking and dancing. We’ll be joined on the night by several VIPs, including Simon Harriss who will speak on behalf of our Charity of the Year for 2019, Action Medical Research for children. Simon will tell us about his daughter Lily, who was diagnosed with the rare disease BPAN when she was just 5 years old. We will also be joined by the new Health Minister, Nicola Blackwood, as well as hearing from NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens.
Horizon Discovery Group plc, a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation technologies, today announced the extension of its CRISPR Screening Service to include ex vivo T lymphocytes. The service extension meets the requirements of immunology-based research in drug discovery, enabling new gene targets to be identified in biologically and potentially therapeutically relevant settings.
Dr Jacqueline Barry, Chief Clinical Officer, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult’s databases of UK clinical trial and preclinical activity reveals a surge in cell and gene therapy trials, highlighting the UK’s thriving ecosystem for developing cell and gene therapy products.
As we have done for the past six years, we have reviewed and updated the cell and gene therapy clinical trials and preclinical activity databases which provide a highly relevant measure of progress in our field. By comparing the data year on year, we can identify trends and growth areas across the industry within the UK, and I am happy to see that this year’s database has revealed some positive insights:
In response to increasing interest in their Hypertrans plant transient expression technology, Leaf Expression Systems have strengthened their team with the appointment of Richard Hart as Business Development Director
Action Medical Research for children are the BIA Charity of the Year for 2019. Focusing on funding the very best research into childhood diseases, Action Medical Research have been doing ground-breaking work for over 60 years.
Joining us at the BIA Gala Dinner, 24 January 2019, are Simon and Samantha Harriss. They will share their daughter Lily's story with us on the night. Lily has a rare and devastating disease called BPAN, which currently has no cure - but research could change that. You can support Action Medical Research through our silent auction on the night, click here to access the auction early.