Bioscience leaders attack ministers' inaction
Friday 08 May 2009
Lord Mandelson was attacked for not doing enough to support UK bioscience yesterday, including by the author of a Business Department-commissioned report on the sector.
A lack of investment has left bioscience in a perilous state, industry figures lined up to warn the Business Secretary at a briefing where he set out the Government's response to Sir David Cooksey's Bioscience 2015 report on the sector's future. The toughest criticism came from Sir David himself, who told the meeting that the Government's reaction to his findings was disappointing.
"When you strip away the veneer of this report, you find that there is very little new in it. It is disappointing," Sir David said. "We began discussing this issue in 2003 and in the six years since there has been lots of talking, but in terms of change, there has been relatively little."
Sir David argued that many companies are struggling to attract private-sector funding to pay for the process of bringing new drugs to market, and getting over the various regulatory hurdles. He called on the Treasury to discriminate in favour of the industry and to set aside specific pools of money for bioscience firms.
In response, Lord Mandelson described Sir David's suggestion as a "cute analysis", adding that such a move would alter a "30-year ethos of government".
The Government has adopted several of Sir David's proposals, including strategy to support the development of new drugs and to include "clinical research metrics" in the NHS Trusts' annual quality accounts. There was also praise for the Government in relation to the establishment of the Office for Life Sciences, headed by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills' minister, Lord Drayson.
At times, however, the Business Secretary, who took notes throughout, seemed taken aback by the strength of feeling at the meeting. Clive Dix, the chairman of the BioIndustry Association, which partnered Sir David in publishing Bioscience 2015, said that "it was too late to be polite," while Susan Seale, the head of Imperial Innovations, which invests in early stage bioscience companies, said the Government was "missing a big opportunity" to get an "enormous amount of talented people into the growth sectors like biotech and clean technology".
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Oscar de la Renta dead: Legendary US fashion designer dies after long cancer battle aged 82
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...
£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...
£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....