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Boost UK manufacturing to attract £15bn of new investment, says drug manufacturing alliance

Boost UK manufacturing to attract £15bn of new investment, says drug manufacturing alliance

With the right policies, the UK could be the best location in the world for innovative and environmentally sustainable drug production, attracting a portfolio of new industrial investment worth £1.5bn a year over the next decade and supporting more than 116,000 new jobs.

Our recommendations will help create the right investment-friendly ecosystem for companies to choose the UK when deciding where to locate their next manufacturing facility. Brian Henry, President of the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership

A new report from the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP): Follow the green, high-tech road: A path to UK growth, net zero and health resilience from innovation in medicine manufacturing argues that if the UK is to become a global life sciences superpower, it must not only discover and develop the medicines of the future in the UK, but also produce a significant proportion of them here.

Within the UK life sciences sector, drug manufacturing is the largest economic contributor, accounting for almost 45% of the £36.9 billion in GVA delivered by the life sciences industry in 2019, compared to 13 % (£4.8 billion) of life science research and 42% (£15.7 billion) of medical technology production.

In recent years, global competition for manufacturing investment has intensified. Countries such as the US, France and Ireland invest heavily in the sector and have therefore attracted large investments, which stimulates export growth. Meanwhile, the UK’s position as a manufacturing leader has declined and a previously strong trade balance has become a deficit.

The MMIP report includes recommendations to reverse this decline and boost growth, building on recent successes such as the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Action Plan, which resulted in early UK leadership in the production of cell and gene therapies.

Brian Henry, President of MMIP said: “The UK life sciences sector has enormous potential to drive significant growth. But it is not enough to discover the medicines and vaccines of the future here, if companies then produce them on a large scale elsewhere.

“We believe the UK can be the global leader in innovative, cutting-edge production of new therapies, drive more sustainable production of medicines and address gaps in our supply chain.

“Our recommendations will help create the right, investment-friendly ecosystem for companies to choose the UK for when deciding where to locate their next manufacturing facility.

“A sustained effort is needed to capitalize on the UK’s traditional strength in early stage science and turn it into success in drug manufacturing – with all the jobs, investment and long-term growth that comes with it .”

Life sciences manufacturing employs 115,200 people at more than 200 sites across the country, with regions such as Yorkshire, North East and North West England benefiting significantly from recent investment by the sector. These jobs are high quality and well paid, generate an average GVA contribution to the economy of £128,000 per worker and provide opportunities for STEM school leavers, university graduates and those changing careers later in life.

Manufacturing investment has long lead times, hence the report highlights that the UK needs to plan now for 2030 and beyond, focusing on future healthcare and economic needs and ensuring appropriate government support is consistently in place over several years to ensure competitive global performance to deliver.

MMIP welcomed the first tranche of the Government’s existing Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF), worth £17m of public funding, which provided a further £260m of private sector investment, securing 199 existing jobs and 320 new jobs were created.

Equally welcome was the government’s recent announcement to establish a Biomanufacturing Fund to boost new investment and additional funding for innovation projects through Innovate UK’s Transforming Medicines Manufacturing Programme.

Using nine key recommendations, the report shows how increasing such public investment, alongside other policy changes, could unlock a further £15bn in business investment over ten years, driving growth in the UK from leadership in sustainable, innovative medicines manufacturing within a pro-innovation life sciences could be stimulated. ecosystem:

To drive growth from leadership in environmentally sustainable production:

Implement a three-point plan to deliver global leadership in environmentally sustainable drug manufacturing: develop an internationally recognized standard for greenhouse gas emissions; develop a technology and innovation roadmap for an environmentally sustainable production of medicines; and setting up the infrastructure to enable the production of net-zero drugs

To drive growth from manufacturing innovation leadership:

£1.1bn over four years to provide sustainable, predictable and accessible finance and incentives for innovation, including £200m for joint R&D grants and £900m over four years for drug manufacturing capital grants to unlock £6bn of industrial investment innovation in drug manufacturing technology, including establishing a world-class UK Medicines Manufacturing Data Institute and funding next-generation oligonucleotide manufacturing capacity

To drive growth by fostering a pro-innovation business environment:

Establish internationally competitive R&D tax credits, including capital expenditure relief, and long-term assurance of capital deductions Establish a “front door” to a drug manufacturing investment Secure a leading global talent base, including providing additional financing for flexible biomanufacturing skills building on successful programs such as the Advanced Therapy Apprenticeship Program (ATAC) and Skills and Training Network (ATSTN) Improving the commercial working environment in the UK Strengthening health resilience through trade policies and streamlined regulation

9. Develop an investment dashboard for UK drug manufacturing

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