select search filters
roundups & rapid reactions
before the headlines
Fiona fox's blog

expert reaction to the life sciences industrial strategy

Via the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy the government has announced that it will invest £146m in medicine research.


Sir John Chisholm, Executive Chairman of Genomics England

“Genomics England welcomes Sir John Bell’s report to government from the life sciences sector – recognising as it does the critical role that genomics will play in the future health, well-being and economic prosperity of this country.

“The UK has been quick to act on the opportunities of genomics, with significant investment in the 100,000 Genomes Project – harnessing the world’s biggest integrated healthcare system to deliver the world’s largest national sequencing project.

“Today’s report gives us the blueprint to build on our global lead in genomic science to drive NHS transformation, improve health outcomes and realise material economic benefits for UK plc.”


Dr. Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, Innovative Medicines & Early Development Biotech Unit and Global Business Development, said:

“As the largest private sector investor in UK life sciences R&D, we welcome the Strategy set out by Sir John Bell, which has tangible targets for encouraging more research, development and high-tech manufacturing of new medicines in the UK for the benefit of patients around the world.

“In particular, I’m pleased with proposals to increase national spend in R&D, support for translational science and for conducting more clinical trials in the UK. With targeted Government focus, these recommendations would put Britain at the forefront of pioneering approaches such as genomics and precision medicine.”


Sir Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive, Cancer Research UK, said:

“With our impending exit from the EU and the NHS facing challenges on many fronts, this strategy comes at a critical time for the UK. We have a strong history of medical research in the UK and it’s vital that we remain a world-class destination for the benefit of our economy and, most importantly, patients.

“We’re particularly pleased to see early detection feature so prominently – a revolution in this field would dramatically improve the chances for cancer patients, create a more sustainable health system and set the UK apart from international competitors.

“But this strategy is not a done deal, so it’s crucial there is sufficient Government investment and commitment from the NHS to make it a reality as quickly as possible. Cancer Research UK’s aim is to see 3 in 4 patients surviving cancer by 2034 and a thriving research environment in the UK is critical to help us achieve this ambition.”


Dr Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive of Innovate UK, said:

“‘I know from my own experience that the UK is a world leader in life sciences. These new proposals underline our strength and will keep the nation at the cutting edge. At Innovate UK, we look forward to playing a key role in its delivery. Working with the research community and exciting companies, with equally exciting ideas, we will drive innovation to create new jobs and deliver greater productivity.”


Professor Anne Cooke, Vice-President of the British Society for Immunology, said:

“The UK is a world leader in life sciences research and immunology sits at the sharp end of this innovation. It is wonderful to see how decades of investment and research into immunity are now yielding breakthroughs in the treatment of critical disease areas such as infection, cancer, autoimmunity and allergy.

“We are pleased to see such an ambitious plan laid out by Professor Sir John Bell to boost the UK’s capacity to deliver on new vaccines from basic research through to production through the announcement of a Vaccine Development and Manufacturing Centre.  This is a vital addition to our capacity to respond to the future health requirements of the country.

“The life sciences industry is a key driver of our economy and in the UK, has a unique and fruitful partnership with the NHS and with universities.   The strategy rightly focuses on many actions we have been calling for, including maximising the research potential of the NHS, reinforcing funding for basic and translational research and making it attractive for talented and skilled researchers worldwide to come and work here.

“There is a lot of uncertainty in the research community currently, and we hope this report’s recommendations will lead to firm actions to strengthen and deepen collaborations between the life science sectors.”


Mike Thompson, CEO, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said:

“Today’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy is an impressive document which captures the importance of our sector to a successful post-Brexit Britain. Sir John Bell is to be congratulated in pulling together a complex and diverse sector and showing the benefits to the UK of getting us all to align.

“We want the UK to be one of the best places in the world for discovering, developing and adopting new medicines and this Strategy provides the focus for all life science partners to work together to deliver exciting medical innovations for patients.

“The NHS is rightly at the heart of the strategy: If it can build on its unique capability to use health data in research and development and address the UK’s long-standing challenge of adopting new treatments, it will create a virtuous circle for all and deliver massive health and economic benefits to the UK.

“We look forward to working with Government and other partners to implement these recommendations – including through a sector deal with the bio-pharmaceutical industry and a voluntary agreement on UK medicines policy between industry and the Department of Health. These measures will provide confidence for global companies to invest in the UK during and beyond Brexit.”


Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome, said:

“The UK’s dynamic life sciences sector delivers new treatments, creates jobs and drives economic growth across the country. Today’s strategy outlines an ambitious vision to build on the UK’s world-leading position in science and innovation, making the most of technological and scientific advances for the benefit of everyone.

“The success of this strategy now lies in its vision being backed up by concerted effort and investment across Government, the NHS, and the research and private sectors.”

“Wellcome remains committed to working with all partners in its implementation and making the sustainable commitments needed to realise the full potential of our life sciences sector.”


Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:

“The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy recognises the importance of funding across basic and discovery science, and translational research. Maintaining and enhancing an environment which supports research across the whole ecosystem including academia, industry, the NHS and charities, is essential to allow the UK’s life sciences sector to continue to flourish.

“Importantly, the Strategy highlights the potential of the NHS, which we are not currently capitalising on. We must use the NHS as an engine for innovation, embedding a culture of research, improving the adoption of new ideas and technologies and ensuring timely access to these.

“Life sciences make a significant contribution to UK PLC. The scale of the ambitious proposals laid out today will help to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in the sector and secure future growth. The UK Government has the opportunity to demonstrate its long-term commitment to the life sciences industry by implementing these proposals in a way that will attract new investment and collaborations, and most importantly deliver patient benefits.

“The Strategy recognises the need to support and grow UK life sciences clusters, regional strengths and cross-sector collaboration. This can be achieved by linking up the diverse components of the research ecosystem including businesses, universities and hospitals, to build on regional excellence and create a UK-wide offer to potential collaborators and investors.

“I have stressed, and will continue to stress, the importance of ensuring continued mobility for highly skilled workers. I am particularly pleased to see support for mobility of talent as a key theme of the Strategy, ensuring the sustainability of the UK’s future workforce.”


Phil Thomson, President of Global Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline, said:

“The UK is a powerhouse for life sciences and GSK welcomes the vision set out today by Sir John Bell for the sector’s future. At the core of this new industrial strategy is a stronger and deeper level of collaboration between industry, government, the NHS, academia and funders. Working together, we can make the UK internationally competitive in life sciences for the long-term, capitalising on the country’s world-class science base and realising innovation to drive economic growth and improve patient care. As the UK’s largest life sciences company and one of its biggest investors in research, we look forward to contributing to this effort.”


Declared interests

None declared

in this section

filter RoundUps by year

search by tag