Lord Prior AZ MMIPLord Prior of Brampton recently met with leaders from the UK’s pharmaceutical industry to discuss the development of the Industrial Strategy for Life Sciences, at AstraZeneca’s Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Facility in Macclesfield, UK

Lord Prior, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), addressed a gathering of more than 100 of the UK’s leading medicines manufacturers at the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP) conference.

The Industrial Strategy for Life Sciences is one of five new “early sector deals” to support the industries of the future wherein Britain has the potential to cement its world-leading status. Leading the development of the strategy for the sector is Professor Sir John Bell, FRS, HonFREng, PMedSci, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University.

Andy Evans, Chair of MMIP and Head of the Macclesfield site at AstraZeneca said: “The UK has significant strengths in the life sciences sector, but there is an opportunity to drive further growth in manufacturing jobs and exports in this sector building on the excellence of the research and development base in the UK.”

“There are opportunities in the emerging area of advanced therapy manufacturing and also through investing in advanced manufacturing to revolutionise medicines manufacture.”

“With a gross value added (GVA) more than three times the UK average, the medicines manufacturing industry can play a crucial role in solving our country’s productivity puzzle, providing highly-skilled fit-for-the-future jobs and powering economic growth across the UK.”

“Working together in partnership with government to develop the new Industrial Strategy for Life Sciences, the medicines manufacturing industry wants to ensure the economy, our businesses and workers, and UK patients, all benefit from investing in this potential.”

Mike Thompson, CEO, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said: “The MMIP has become a blueprint for how industry can work with government on shared challenges and shared goals. By earmarking £270 million through the “Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund” in the Spring Budget, the government has recognised the potential of the UK life sciences industry and made a critical first step towards supporting research in the field of new medicines manufacturing technologies.”

“These are exciting times. The next generation of medicines, including cell and gene therapies, as well as the technologies to produce and test them are on our doorstep.”

“Now we need the NHS and the UK government to embrace this innovation and ensure that patients in the UK will benefit from the treatments and medicines discovered and developed here.”

Steve Bates, CEO, BioIndustry Association (BIA), said: “Medicines manufacturing creates real opportunities for UK growth in jobs and economic activity. This is a sector for the future, both in terms of modernising medicines manufacturing in existing plants such as the existing R&D we have seen in Macclesfield today, as well as the progress that the UK is making in advanced therapy cell and gene therapy manufacturing.”

Sue Dunkerton, Director, Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) said: “Innovation in critically important in modern medicines manufacturing and we have a real opportunity to grow the UK manufacturing footprint of novel highly complex therapies whilst continuing to support activities in more established areas such as biologics where the UK continues to excel and expand.”

“We are bringing together UK excellence from a range of technologies and sectors to contribute to the high value add of the life sciences sector.”

The government published its main Industrial Strategy green paper in January, inviting industries, businesses and consumers to visit the GOV.UK website and respond to the consultation.

Published in November 2016 by MMIP, the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce (ATMT) action plan explains how the UK can become the global hub of advanced medicinal therapy manufacturing and ensure it’s the long-term success.