UK sends first health innovation delegation to Asia’s biggest biotech expo since pandemic
London, Monday, 10th October
Leading UK health scientists and research institutions are converging on Yokohama this week for the BioJapan 2022 expo as part of a delegation led by MedCity, the life sciences cluster organisation for London. This year’s delegation builds on previous MedCity missions since 2015 to showcase the UK’s life sciences offer to Japan, cement existing relationships and forge future collaborations – supporting the Government’s Life Sciences Vision to secure the UK’s position as a science superpower.
Underscoring the significance of the BioJapan delegation, the UK is Japan’s fourth biggest collaborator on scientific research, and the quality of UK-Japan research in fields such as medicine and immunology is more than 6.5 times the world average, higher than with the USA, Germany or China for both countries.
Institutions joining the delegation span the north and south of England. Professor David Lomas, UCL Vice-Provost (Heath) and MedCity board member, is attending as a special guest of BioJapan and will deliver the keynote speech.
Since MedCity was founded in 2014, in partnership with London’s Academic Health Science Centres, the organisation has prioritised relationship building with Japan and East Asia for inward investment and strategic collaborations with the UK’s life science ecosystem. Previous MedCity delegations resulted in the largest ever Korean biopharma mission to the UK in 2019; a global partnership between MedCity and the Japanese Bioindustry Association to promote UK-Japan collaboration; a memorandum of understanding with the Tokyo-based cluster organisation Life Science Innovation Network Japan; and the announcement of a number of high-profile academic collaborations with Japanese industry, including Takeda Pharmaceutical’s partnership with UCL to advance research into neurogenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Motor Neurone Disease.
Neelam Patel, CEO of MedCity, said: “For the past eight years, we have concentrated international engagement on Japan because it is the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the world, and the second largest pharma market. BioJapan has proved an important platform in helping us build life science collaborations between UK academic research institutes and East Asian industry. We continue to grow those relationships, particularly in areas where the UK excels – such as cell and gene therapy and oncology – joining the strengths of the UK and Japan to accelerate innovation for the benefit of our economy and global health.”
The delegation is supported by the Mayor of London. The Greater London Authority partly funds MedCity to represent London’s life sciences sector internationally and attract FDI. Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, said: “MedCity’s annual UK delegations to Bio-Japan have laid the foundations for collaboration between London’s academic and research institutions and the East Asian pharma and biotech industry, helping to drive inward investment and create jobs. I am very pleased to be supporting this important work again in 2022, which is significant not only for London but also for the wider UK life sciences ecosystem.”
Professor David Lomas, Vice Provost of UCL, said: “I am honoured to be delivering the keynote speech at BioJapan 2022. It will be an opportunity to highlight the UK’s growing appetite for commercialising discoveries and continuing its culture of collaboration with Japan as a research and business partner, to discover and accelerate healthcare solutions that address unmet need across both nations and deliver wider real-world impact.”
BioJapan 2022 takes place in Yokohama, Japan, from 12th to 14th of October and marks a return to in-person attendance for international participants at Asia’s biggest annual life sciences event after the easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions to Japan.