Growth Review Highlights Life Sciences as a Key Sector; Confirms Introduction of Patent Box and Reviews R&D Tax Credits
News Nov 30, 2010
Of significance to the life sciences sector are government plans to introduce a more competitive tax system including:
• The introduction of a “Patent Box” - a preferential tax regime of 10% for profits arising from patents which will encourage the commercialisation of discoveries in the UK
• A review of R&D tax credits to reflect proposals of the Dyson review
The growth review responds to some of the key principles highlighted in a joint paper submitted by the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), BioIndustry Association (BIA), British In Vitro Diagnostic Association (BIVDA) and Cancer Research UK (CRUK), which were:
• People – to focus on skills and training for the scientists of the future to include support for greater researcher mobility between industry and academia
• Access to finance – to ensure provisions are in place for adequate funding of business and for support of basic science
• Environment – to include proposals to build on the collaborations and partnerships already in place to create the ideal research landscape
• Innovation – to improve the uptake and procurement of world leading innovative products and streamline the regulation that affects the sector to speed treatments reaching the people who need them.
• Long-term growth – to recognise the need for a longer term strategy for investment in science strategy to create a sense of direction for the life sciences sector
The industry and charity organisations look forward to working together with government and the National Health Service to deliver on these goals and impact on the health and wellbeing of people across the UK.
Richard Barker, Director General of the ABPI, said:
“With Government’s welcome announcement of the Patent Box, enabling UK intellectual property to generate UK jobs, and their clear recognition of the role of the NHS in supporting the sector, the stage is set for a resurgence in UK life sciences.”
Peter Ellingworth, Chief Executive of the ABHI, said:
“The UK has a large number of small businesses operating in the life sciences sector, it is important that these companies are given the support they need to grow into medium and large businesses. We welcome the measures outlined in the growth review, especially those around procurement. A simplified and more transparent procurement system should open up the NHS to small businesses and improve the uptake of innovative technologies.”
Simon Denegri, Chief Executive of the AMRC, said:
“The Government's statement on growth today is an important step towards ensuring surety for the life sciences sector. Its proposals will help maintain the UK's attractiveness as a leading centre for medical and health research. Its focus on sustaining a culture of collaboration and innovation is vital if charity-funded research is to make a difference to people's lives with knock-on benefits for public expenditure and economic growth."
Nigel Gaymond, Chief Executive of the BIA, said:
“The introduction of the Patent Box will result in a significant change of attitude towards the UK as a location for R&D and manufacturing. This will ultimately stimulate interest and investment in the UK’s bioscience companies. We also welcome the opportunity to maximise the opportunities offered by R&D tax credits which are already a vital incentive for smaller businesses.”
Doris-Ann Williams, Director General of BIVDA, said:
“This review is a welcome demonstration of the Government’s commitment to realising the value that can be brought to the UK economy by life sciences, and a recognition of the key collaborative role the NHS will play in that.”
Previous work by the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (IMSGC) has identified 233 genetic risk variants. However, these only account for about 20% of overall disease risk, with the remaining genetic culprits proving elusive. A new study has tracked down four of these hard-to-find genes.READ MORE