HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 28 November 2017

Media and Political Bulletin

28 November 2017

Media Summary

UK Gov publishes Industrial Strategy

PharmaTimes, Selina McKee, 27 November 2017

PharmaTimes reports on the government’s comments on major new investments in the UK by pharma firms, MSD and QIAGEN, calling them a “huge vote of confidence” in its approach to industrial strategy. MSD has confirmed plans to establish a UK Discovery Centre, following similar investments in new biomedical centres in the San Francisco Bay Area and Cambridge Massachusetts.

A new partnership between leading diagnostics company QIAGEN and Health Innovation Manchester to develop a genomics and diagnostics campus in the city has also been announced.

The news of these new investments came as the government unveiled its flagship Industrial Strategy, with a long-term plan for how the country can best build on its economic strengths, address its productivity challenge, positively embrace technological change, and support businesses and its workers.

MSD’s new research centre a big boost for Brexit Britain

Pharmaphorum, Richard Staines, 27 November 2017

Pharmaphorum also highlights Merck, Sharp, and Dohme’s (MSD) announcement that it is to build a state of the art life sciences R&D facility in London, creating around 950 jobs. The company said the site will accommodate around 800 support staff and 150 new research roles at the new centre.

The publication underlines that the news coincides with the unveiling of the government’s flagship industrial strategy, and is part of a “Sector Deal” aimed at boosting the life sciences industry. Life sciences is one of four deals targeting sectors considered to be vital to economic growth – the other sectors being construction, artificial intelligence and automotive.

ABPI welcomes launch of the Industrial Strategy

ABPI, 27 November 2017

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry have welcomed the government’s Industrial Strategy. In a statement released yesterday, Mike Thompson, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said:

“The Government’s Industrial Strategy is significantly important in providing a long-term strategic roadmap for UK business. As we navigate the challenges of leaving the European Union, it is important we continue to make the domestic landscape as attractive as possible.

“Today’s announcement of major investment in new research and development facilities by global pharmaceutical company MSD is a vote of confidence in the strength of UK science and a signal of the Government’s ambition to compete on a global scale.

​”We now look forward to further detail on the sector deals between the pharmaceutical industry and Government on the back of Sir John Bell’s impressive Life Sciences Industrial Strategy. These deals are just the first steps but will be instrumental in securing the future strength of the UK life sciences industry, helping the UK economy prosper and allowing NHS patients to get better and faster access to world-class medicines discovered and developed here in Britain.”

Parliamentary Coverage

There is no Parliamentary coverage today.

Full Coverage

UK Gov publishes Industrial Strategy

PharmaTimes, Selina McKee, 27 November 2017

The government is calling two major new investments in the UK by pharma firms a “huge vote of confidence” in its approach to industrial strategy.

MSD has confirmed plans to plans to establish a UK Discovery Centre, following similar investments in new biomedical centres in the San Francisco Bay Area and Cambridge Massachusetts.

“We are in the early stages of seeking a site in London and at this stage, we are unable to give an investment figure,” the firm noted.

But it did reveal that it expects the site to house nearly 1,000 employees, “including a state of the art facility for 150 new research scientists as well as 800 existing additional staff for the UK domestic market and other European clinical functions who are currently based in MSD UK’s Hoddesdon headquarters”.

“A new UK location will enable us to build on our proud legacy of invention and be an important contributor to the vibrant and rapidly growing UK life sciences community, while providing access for more collaborations within the European life science ecosystem,” noted MSD’s Research Laboratories president Roger Perlmutter.

A brand new partnership between leading diagnostics company QIAGEN and Health Innovation Manchester to develop a genomics and diagnostics campus in the city was also announced.

“Investments by world-renowned companies like MSD and QIAGEN demonstrate that the UK’s science base is truly world-leading and an exceptional national strength,” said chair of the Life Science Industrial Strategy Advisory Board, Sir John Bell.

“It is clear that the UK can, through a collaborative partnership between government, industry, academia, charities and the NHS, deliver the next wave of innovation that will benefit patients, transform the health care system, and generate economic growth and improved productivity”.

The news came as the government unveiled its flagship Industrial Strategy, with a long-term plan for how the country can best build on its economic strengths, address its productivity challenge, positively embrace technological change, and support businesses and its workers.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said the Strategy “deliberately strengthens the five foundations of productivity: ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places,” to address current weaknesses and ultimately boost the country’s earning power.

Each foundation is supported by a range of policies designed to provide businesses with certainty and reassurance that the UK will continue to have a competitive edge, such as raising total R&D investment to 2.4 percent of GDP by 2027; increasing the rate of R&D tax credit to 12 percent; and investing £725 million in new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programmes, “to capture the value of innovation”.

The government also confirmed that it is pressing ahead with a stream of Sector Deals, with Life Sciences included in the first batch. For the industry, the deal will “drive investment in the UK’s world-leading research infrastructure and boost productivity in the sector,” it said.

“We now look forward to further detail on the sector deals between the pharmaceutical industry and government on the back of Sir John Bell’s impressive Life Sciences Industrial Strategy,” commented ABPI chief executive Mike Thompson.

“These deals are just the first steps but will be instrumental in securing the future strength of the UK life sciences industry, helping the UK economy prosper and allowing NHS patients to get better and faster access to world-class medicines discovered and developed here in Britain.”

MSD’s new research centre a big boost for Brexit Britain

Pharmaphorum, Richard Staines, 27 November 2017

Merck, Sharp, and Dohme (MSD) has announced it is to build a state of the art life sciences R&D facility in London, creating around 950 jobs.

Known as Merck & Co in the US, the company said the site will accommodate around 800 support staff and 150 new research roles at the new centre.

Merck & Co already has similar research centres in San Francisco Bay and Cambridge, Massachusetts and the company said locating the new facility will allow it to engage with leading researchers in the UK and Europe.

The news is very welcome for the UK government, which is under pressure from business sectors across the board to provide reassurances about Brexit.

The news coincides the unveiling of the government’s flagship industrial strategy today, and is part of a “Sector Deal” aimed at boosting the life sciences industry.

Life sciences is one of four deals targeting sectors considered to be vital to economic growth – the other sectors being construction, artificial intelligence and automotive.

Each deal will involve long-term partnership with the government, backed by private sector co-investment.

Despite the concerns over Brexit and its long-term impact on the economy, it seems that the pharma giant still sees potential in the UK’s life sciences R&D sector.

Dr Roger M. Perlmutter, president, MSD Research Laboratories, said: “Strong discovery capabilities and the pursuit of scientific excellence are foundational to MSD’s mission to save and improve lives around the world.”

“This new London location will enable us to build on our proud legacy of invention and be an important contributor to the vibrant and rapidly growing London life sciences community while providing access for more collaborations within the European life science ecosystem.”

J&J axeing UK JLabs?

However the MSD announcement isn’t the only development in the sector -a report in the Daily Telegraph suggests that another big pharma company has been scared off by the uncertainty around Brexit.

It reported that plans to establish one of its “JLabs” in Cambridge, UK, has been put on hold over concerns that the UK is politically and economically weak while Brexit negotiations are ongoing.

JLabs help fledgling pharmaceutical manufacturers to develop their products, typically housing around 30 and 50 small companies working to develop new drugs, vaccines and therapies.

There are currently five such facilities in North America, and J&J opened the first such operation outside the US earlier this year – the Jlinx biotech incubator in Beerse, Belgium.

ABPI welcomes launch of the Industrial Strategy

ABPI, 27 November 2017

As the government launches its Industrial Strategy white paper, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) – the trade group for the pharmaceutical industry in the UK – have welcomed the government’s roadmap for business.

​​​​​​​​​​Mike Thompson, Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), said:

“The Government’s Industrial Strategy is significantly important in providing a long-term strategic roadmap for UK business. As we navigate the challenges of leaving the European Union, it is important we continue to make the domestic landscape as attractive as possible.

“Today’s announcement of major investment in new research and development facilities by global pharmaceutical company MSD is a vote of confidence in the strength of UK science and a signal of the Government’s ambition to compete on a global scale.

​”We now look forward to further detail on the sector deals between the pharmaceutical industry and Government on the back of Sir John Bell’s impressive Life Sciences Industrial Strategy. These deals are just the first steps but will be instrumental in securing the future strength of the UK life sciences industry, helping the UK economy prosper and allowing NHS patients to get better and faster access to world-class medicines discovered and developed here in Britain.”

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