Following announcement of a substantial package of support for the UK Life Sciences by Government and its responses to reviews by the Lord O’Shaughnessy and others, Professor Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:
“The UK is renowned for having a strong life sciences sector that delivers significant health and economic benefits through world-leading, life-saving research. For this to continue, the UK must be internationally competitive and an attractive destination for world-class talent, investment and innovation, which is why we welcome the substantial support package announced by Government.
“Among the measures and funding news, we are pleased that the UK Biobank has been recognised as a national asset to generate new discoveries that benefit patients and leverage new partnerships and investment from across the health research system.
“The Lord O’Shaughnessy review into commercial clinical trials in the UK, also published today, highlights that our strength in life sciences is intimately linked with the excellence of the UK health research system, from universities to charities. It rightly points out that the NHS is a critical part of this system and therefore must be an active and engaged partner to our life sciences industry as well as our academic and charitable sectors. It is positive to see that the report also highlights the importance of patient involvement and the need for the NHS workforce to be able to engage in research.
“These findings, along with the commitments made to ensure regulation is fit for purpose, align strongly with our recently published report on future-proofing UK health research. This set out some of the steps needed by Governments, funders, universities, industry and the NHS to deliver on the ambitions that are reflected in the announcements. We look forward to working with partners across sectors to realise the full potential of the UK’s life sciences sector in driving economic growth and improving public health.”