The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has issued the following statement in response to a new report on the changing UK drug discovery landscape, published on Monday 17 October by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of the ICR, said: “I welcome this initiative by the ABPI to collect evidence about the status of research and development in the UK across the pharmaceutical, biotech and contract research sectors.
“We have seen some decline in the productivity due to downsizing of pharma companies, departure from the UK and the lack of venture capital. We now need to build on the current drug discovery ecosystem to ensure that we make the most of the great bioscience research in the UK, where we punch above our weight, and translate our breakthroughs into medicines that benefit patients and the economy.
“I'm pleased that the report sees a role for high quality academic drug discovery, highlighting academic life sciences as a real strength for the UK. With companies involved in more collaboration than they were a decade ago, academia will continue to play a vital role.
“What we urgently need right now is a great deal more funding available to support crossing the so-called valley of death between progress in early drug discovery in academia and commercial development to roll out new treatments.”