Leading figures from the UK biotechology sector have presented the government with a dossier which identifies the need for ‘seismic’ change to save and transform the industry.
Twenty-two biotech leaders, including prominent biotech chairmen, chief executives, brokers and investors signed the dossier which has had inputs from over 50 different British biotech experts. It was recently sent to the Prime Minister and the Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson.
The business leaders have been assessing the industry’s needs during these difficult times and have produced a raft of recommendations which they believe are necessary for the sector’s survival and future viability.
Their recommendations include:-
- The creation of a National Biomedical public-private partnership that will truly galvanise the UK biotechnology sector.
This partnership should focus primarily on three new initiatives:
- The creation of a National BioMedical Consolidation Fund
- The creation of a National Super Growth Biomedical Fund
- The creation of a National co-ordinated initiative to stimulate revenues for UK medical science companies
Each Fund would be at least £500 million – with government and industry as equal partners.
In the dossier the industry signatories say: “The UK biotech industry is a world leader which has pioneered some truly life changing scientific discoveries. Despite this heritage, the lethal mix of weak specific industry characteristics coupled with a complete market failure as well as the unprecedented economic downturn due to the credit crunch, means that the industry has reached breaking point.
“The choices for the UK biotechnology industry are stark – It can continue on an indefinite downward spiral until the very real prospect of short term extinction, or, alternatively, swift and decisive action should be taken now to effect fundamental change in the sector – change that will offer genuine opportunity for UK biotech to finally fulfil its much-vaunted potential and ensure that Britain remains in the vanguard of scientific achievement and commercialisation on the international biomedical scene.
“Clearly, the UK venture capital sector does not possess the financial firepower to tackle on its own the challenges the biotech industry is facing. Government intervention is required and it must happen soon. However, Government support is not being sought to prop up a struggling industry. The Government support needed as outlined in this document would be in the form of genuine investment with a view to delivering significant financial return to Government and the taxpayer whilst protecting and growing one of its most prized industries.
“If Government were to embrace these initiatives on the scale outlined here, it will effect fundamental change in the biotech sector and enable it to create wealth, jobs and contribute towards building a truly high tech, high value economy in Britain. Only then will UK biotech finally realise its full potential on the world stage.”
Further information: Ramsay Smith, Media House 0207 397 8460/07788 414856 email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated on: 27/08/2010 11:40:18