ABINGDON, England, May 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
OBN, the trade association supporting and bringing together the UK's emerging life sciences companies, their corporate partners and investors, has welcomed the allocation thus far of £63m in funding awards to UK life science companies under the Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) scheme administered by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), during its first 12 months of operation. OBN now calls for the BMC's extension at the same level of investment for a minimum duration of the remainder of the UK Life Sciences Strategy, which began late in 2011 and which the Government announced in the Autumn, would have a 10-year duration.
OBN was the first organisation to call on the UK Government to extend and expand on the industry component of the Biomedical Catalyst over 10 years in November 2012, in order to help maintain the UK bioindustry's number one position in Europe by addressing the "death gap" in financing.
Jon Rees, CEO of OBN, said, "We now have the evidence that new investment has been leveraged, and that fund managers have readied funds to match the Biomedical Catalyst in the case of the schemes extension. We have shared this information with BIS. Government should move forward quickly to secure the opportunity on offer, which will achieve the leverage the scheme was intended to secure for UK plc.
"We are now actively engaged in providing evidence from member R&D companies, making sure BIS understands the level of investment this scheme's continuance will secure, as well as jobs created, and make sure our sector evidences how it will further change behaviour and facilitate the development of drugs, devices and diagnostics that might not otherwise reach patients."
Andy Richards, Serial Entrepreneur, said, "The Biomedical Catalyst has enabled emerging R&D businesses I am involved with to leverage new investment and more importantly has elevated corporate cultures encouraging companies to be more ambitious in developing both products and innovative business models. It has been genuinely catalytic and I fully support the campaign to extend it to ten years."
David Brown, Owner and Managing Director at Alchemy Biomedical Consulting said, "The Biomedical Catalyst is the envy of Europe. It is enabling the UK life sciences sector to progress successfully in generating breakthrough research, products and employment growth at a time when financing globally is so very difficult. Without this initiative many companies would be struggling or closed with a negative impact on current employment and future growth of an industry which has been identified as central to the UK's future prosperity. Let's extend Biomedical Catalyst to 10 years."
About Andy Richards
Andy Richards is an Entrepreneur and Angel Investor specialising in life sciences. He is currently Chairman of Altacor, Abcodia, Novacta and Ixico, co-chair of Cambridge Temperature Concepts, a Non-Executive Director of Arecor and PsychologyOn-line and is founder and special advisor to Vectura plc. In addition, he is a Non-Executive Director of Cancer Research Technologies (the commercial arm of CR-UK) and Babraham Bioscience Technologies, is a member of the BBSRC Council and a Trustee of the British Science Association. He is a founder member of Cambridge Angels and an advisor to several Venture Capital Funds, Private Equity Funds and Corporate Venture Funds.
Andy is a Cambridge graduate with a PhD in enzyme chemistry who spent his early career with ICI (now AstraZeneca) and with PA Technology. He was a founder of Chiroscience and an executive director through to the sale to Celltech in 1999. Andy has a track record as a founder and active investor in more than 20 innovative healthcare and life-science companies over the last 12 years including companies that are have exited such as Arakis, Cambridge Biotechnology Ltd, Sirus, Daniolabs, Biowisdom, Geneservice, Pharmakodex and Clinical Force.
About David Brown BSc, PhD, FRSC
Dr David Brown has over 30 years experience in the pharmaceutical / biotechnology industry both in research and in senior executive roles. He served with 4 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies: Zeneca, Pfizer, GlaxoWellcome, and Hoffman La-Roche; and also as President and Chief Executive of Cellzome AG, a biotechnology company with headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany. Whilst at Pfizer he was named co-inventor on the patent for Viagra, a treatment for male impotence, and he led the team that developed Viagra through to proof of clinical efficacy in human clinical trials. The drug is also marketed for treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension under the trade name Revatio. He also had a pivotal role in the discovery of Relpax, a treatment for migraine. While at Roche in Switzerland, he was a Director of the company and had responsibility over 2000 staff focused on drug discovery at all six of Roche's research sites in the USA, Europe and Asia. He served on Clinical Development and Business Development senior committees.
Since 2005 Dr Brown has pursued a portfolio of roles dedicated to bringing new medical treatments to both the developed and developing world. He has been heavily involved with OneWorld Health, San Francisco, where his work, and that of the organization, is dedicated to bringing medicines to the poorest of the poor in the world. In particular he has been involved with development of a global strategy to reduce child deaths from diarrheal diseases and other gastrointestinal disorders. This work has been funded by Bill Gates through his charitable trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In the Western world, his main focus is on developing new approaches to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, which he pursues via entrepreneurial small biotechnology companies.
Dr Brown has a strong interest in entrepreneurialism. He is an advisor in this area to one of the top four consultancy and accountancy firms, and he coaches CEOs and entrepreneurs at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at Cambridge University Business School.
Dr Brown has extensive experience of leadership at both Chief Executive and Board level. He has previously served on the boards of Cellzome AG in Germany (as CEO) and the Institute for One World Health in San Francisco (as interim CEO then interim Chair of the Board, and currently as Chair of the External Advisory Board). He currently serves on the boards of Crescendo Biologics Ltd, Amura Ltd (Chair) and Indigix Ltd (Chair) and is Chair of Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd, which manages Babraham Research Campus, one of the large biotechnology parks surrounding Cambridge UK. He is also Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Heptares Ltd. He is also co-founder and Chairman of a charity (FMVSO) supporting a school and orphanage for destitute children in India. He is based at Cambridge, UK.
OBN is the trade association supporting and bringing together the UK's emerging life science R&D companies, their corporate partners and their investors. Our 220 member companies are located across the Golden Triangle (formed by the cities of Oxford, Cambridge and London) and beyond, and benefit from our provide networking, partnering, purchasing, advising, and advocacy activities.
Through our delivery of Europe's 3rd largest annual biopartnering and investment conference 'BioTrinity', which attracts 900 delegates from 30 countries, OBN generates more R&D-company-to-investor interactions than anyone else in Europe. OBN runs regular 'BioTuesday' evening networking events which typically feature three speakers talking on a topic of business, financial or scientific interest, followed by two hours of networking over wine and canapés, attended by about 100 delegates.
OBN delivers a number of key executive level dinners in the life sciences calendar including the OBN Annual Awards Dinner at the Ashmolean, the OBN Annual Executive Dinner and OBN Christmas Networking Dinner. In addition OBN offers the Senior Executive Breakfast Club with up to 30 CEOs, CFOs and COOs coming together regularly in Oxford, Cambridge and London with industry figures to network and discuss topics of mutual interest under Chatham House rules. OBN offers members discounted rates on lab supplies and services through more than 30 suppliers, office supplies, private medical insurance, among over 40 offers on products and services through the OBN Group Purchasing Scheme.
OBN has also established a policy thinktank called the "OBN 2020 Vision Group" which provides thought leadership on policies to support the emergence and sustainable growth of emerging life sciences R&D companies. OBN delivers consultancy projects on regional and national life sciences clusters, independently benchmarking the status of bioclusters on behalf of government clients. OBN is also involved in a number of multi-cluster networking projects including HealthTIES, the EDCA and we are a proud to be member of CEBR.
OBN Member Companies who have thus far been winners of BioMedical Catalyst funding include PsiOxus Therapeutics, Absynth Biologics, KalVista Pharmaceuticals, PhotoBiotics, Oxford BioTherapeutics, Integrated Magnetic Systems, F-Star Biotechnology, Glide Pharma, Prosonix, mapmyhealth, Arecor, Pharminox, Domainex, Summit Corporation, GeneFirst, Pharmidex, Team Consulting and Gentronix.
About the BioMedical Catalyst
The BioMedical Catalyst was implemented to help UK R&D companies to access much needed funding to aid the development of innovative products and technology, in attracting private finance and ultimately to treating areas of unmet medical need. The BioMedical Catalyst, launched as a key action within the government's Strategy for UK Life Sciences and aimed at addressing market failure in the financing of early-stage innovative biomedical R&D companies in the UK, is designed to effectively translate basic research into products with market potential. This joint £180m Technology Strategy Board and Medical Research Council programme offers funding to innovative small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and academics looking to work either individually or in collaboration to develop solutions to healthcare challenges. The Biomedical Catalyst accepts innovative ideas from any sector or discipline that demonstrate the potential to provide significant positive healthcare and economic impact.
Jon Rees, CEO