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UK Bioscience Forum: Confronting Common Challenges

October 11, 2013
This week, BIO’s President and CEO Jim Greenwood delivered a plenary address to attendees at the UK Bioscience Forum in London, England. Below are excerpts from his speech:

We can work together to build the right framework to support innovation. From the way we fund research, to how we protect innovations, to how we attract investment and streamline regulatory approval.

Jim_LondonThe UK has the right innovation ecosystem in place to grow as a global biotech leader. For example, the UK boasts:

  • A vibrant research base

  • Strong and growing tech transfer communities

  • Straight-forward, transparent approach to business

  • Great universities

  • Strong political leadership; and

  • Proven entrepreneurs

There are enormous opportunities to build and deepen the relationship and partnership between the US and UK’s biotech sectors. But to realize the full potential of these partnerships and opportunities, we need to address the economic decision-making that is occurring on both sides of the Atlantic, and the role it can play in undermining innovation.

There has never been a better time to be an innovator in our industry. The science is strong, and opportunities abound.

In order for the industry to flourish around the world, we need to strengthen the global marketplace – reduce redundancies and protect intellectual property.

One of our priorities at BIO right now is the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP).  The proposed trade agreement would apply to approximately one billion people who live in our combined markets.

The EU and US are the two largest markets for pharmaceuticals, together attracting more than 75% of global investment in life science R&D and 80% of global sales. In addition, these two markets are home to nine out of the top 10 global companies.

The pace of collaborations between US and European firms clearly illustrates the interconnectivity of the transatlantic biopharmaceutical marketplace.

An ambitious, comprehensive TTIP can underpin the transatlantic pharmaceutical marketplace, facilitate further collaboration and create new markets and opportunities for our industry, while spurring economic growth and, most importantly, benefitting patients.

In fact, many trade experts believe that if these negotiations are successful, they could serve as de facto global standards.

We believe that a biopharmaceutical regulatory focus within TTIP could build on the considerable work that the US and EU have undertaken in recent years. For example, the FDA and EMA have collaborated on inspections, consulted on issues related to the approval of pediatric therapies, and worked to streamline reporting requirements.

These efforts are producing real world results, and are helping to reduce costs and administrative burdens for many biotech innovators on both sides of the Atlantic. TTIP presents an opportunity to take these efforts to the next level, and we are working closely with the Biotechnology Industry Association and other members of the UK bioscience community.

Together, we can boost the biopharmaceutical industry globally by collaborating and partnering to share best practices and better leverage assets in our respective countries.