2018 a record year for UK biotech fundraising

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.

Guest blog | Action Medical Research | Dr Apostolos Papandreou shares his passion for research into rare diseases affecting children

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.

BIA response to Health Secretary's plan to contain and control AMR

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. 

CEO Update | Wednesday 23 January 2019

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 extends CRISPR Screening Service to primary human T cells

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.

Guest Blog | Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult | Growth in UK Cell and Gene Therapy Industry Continues for Sixth Year Running

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:

Almac Group extends personalised cancer vaccine production facilities

An announcement from Edinburgh Technopole; Almac Group extends personalised cancer vaccine production facilities

Leaf Expression Systems appoints Richard Hart as Business Development Director

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

Video of the Week | Lily's Story

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.

Discovery Park kicks off 2019 with focus on business development

Leading UK science campus looks to attract anchor tenant for Building 518 manufacturing facility.