The Pharma industry has had a long and difficult relationship with the media. Coverage around the sector has often focused on crises, fines and executive decision making and until recently has rarely shone a spotlight on the critical role the industry has played saving and improving lives across the world.
Throughout the pandemic media outlets devoted more page inches than ever to the industry with firms such as Pfizer and Moderna receiving widespread praise for their role in the development of the Covid vaccine.
The UK proudly led the charge around vaccine development and is home to some of the world’s leading Pharma organisations. A lot of these businesses are centred around London, Oxford and Cambridge but there is a growing community of Pharma, Life Sciences and BioTechnology leaders emerging outside of the Golden Triangle.
Here we shine a spotlight on five of the UK’s leading Pharma businesses outside of this region.
Founded in 2011, Nottingham-headquartered Sygnature Discovery provide clients with a range of integrated drug discovery solutions and expertise. Providing expert insight and years of drug discovery experience to clients, the business has successfully discovered more than 30 compounds that have now entered pre-clinical development with 17 having progressed to clinical trial phase.
The Life Sciences industry in the Midlands is booming with several leading Universities feeding in to an already strong talent pool. As the region’s infrastructure continues to grow there is no doubt that other firms will join Sygnature in establishing a presence in the Midlands and there is a significant opportunity for the firm to position itself right at the forefront of this growth.
Based at Alderley Park in Cheshire, AIM listed Redx Pharma is a clinical-stage BioTechnology firm developing therapeutics to treat cancer and fibrotic diseases. Redx’s 60 strong team come from a range of scientific backgrounds and have experience developing a multitude of drug candidates and progressing them through clinical trials.
Having fallen in to administration a decade ago the business has bounced back strongly and recently announced that it is due to receive a $9 million payment from Pharma Giant AstraZeneca as it begins clinical trials for its fibrotic disease treatment. The success of these trials has the potential to unlock a series of further financial milestones that could be key to the firm’s continued growth.
With two divisions split between Wetherby and Cambridge, Avacta specialise in clinical stage oncology and developing diagnostic solutions. Focused on saving lives using its trademarked Affimer® and pre|CISION™ platforms, the business is right at the forefront of cancer immunotherapy development.
The firm has recently announced a potentially ground-breaking update to the development of its AVA6000 cancer drug. Following approval from the MHRA the group opened a phase 1 study of the drug last year. Its Safety Data Monitoring Committee have now reviewed the data from stage one of this trial and are pleased to be able to move forward to the next dose. If successful, the drug has huge potential to improve the lives of people living with cancer.
Based in Manchester, Yourgene Health is a bioTech group primarily focused on advancing the development of genomic medicine and diagnostic science. Primarily focused on diagnostic solutions in the reproductive health, precision medicine and infectious diseases spaces, the firm has customers from over 60 countries across the globe.
Following a stellar few months the business announced significant revenue growth in December 2021 with sales hitting £17.45m. Described by Chairman Adam Reynolds and CEO Lyn Rees as a ‘challenging year’, the firm has bounced back strongly from the pandemic and 2022 is set to be an exciting year following the acquisition of engineering firm Coastal Genomics.
Medicines Discovery Catapult
Established by Innovate UK, the Medicines Discovery Catapult is an independent not-for-profit organisation committed to accelerating the progress of medical discovery and diagnostic businesses across the UK. Through providing access to industry-leading technology, data and expertise the Catapult enables firms to accelerate drug development and ultimately deliver life-improving medicine more quickly.
The organisation is currently working alongside a range of organisations across the country including Alzheimer’s Research UK to help increase the chances of much-needed medicine being delivered to those living with the disease.
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