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BIA industry-led vaccine manufacturing group welcomes funding announcement of £14m from UK government, to help rapidly scale up COVID-19 vaccines

A BIA industry-led vaccine manufacturing group has welcomed today’s announcement by the Business Secretary, Alok Sharma of a £14 million investment pot, to rapidly progress treatments and vaccines. The money announced will support the manufacturing process of COVID-19 vaccines.

The industry-led vaccine manufacturing group is working closely with the Government and reporting directly into the Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance. The group will work alongside the Government taskforce announced today by the Business Secretary. The vaccine manufacturing group will consider any COVID-19 vaccines or therapies which emerge, regardless of whether the vaccine or therapy is UK or internationally based and look to help where it can.

The industry-led vaccine manufacturing group began from conversations between Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BIA and key members of the life sciences manufacturing community, in early March. From these discussions, the BIA issued a UK manufacturing capacity audit which assessed UK capability to rapidly scale up any vaccine candidates and COVID-19 therapies.

The group is a collaboration of the public sector, private sector companies, academia and universities, building on the UK’s world leading science base and is chaired by Ian McCubbin OBE, former VP for Global Manufacturing and Supply at GlaxoSmithKline.

The group is currently supporting:

  • The Jenner Institute’s adenovirus vaccine candidate at the University of Oxford, led by Dr Sandy Douglas, with Professor Sarah Gilbert and the Clinical BioManufacturing Facility. There has been a successful bid to UKRI in partnership with BIA members Pall, Fujifilm, Cobra, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) and Oxford Biomedica to develop rapid scale up of such a vaccine.
  • The group is also supporting the work of Imperial College London, led by Professor Robin Shattock, where the team is working on an mRNA vaccine.

Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BIA said: “Today’s announcement will help accelerate the manufacturing capacity and capability of the UK and support vaccine candidates and other COVID-19 therapies, which are needed in this global health crisis.

“The industry-led vaccine manufacturing group has been working closely with Oxford University and Imperial College London, to assess supply chains and understand what they require to scale and rapidly deploy their vaccines. The UK has world leading science in academia, vaccines and advanced therapies, and with the Government’s announcement, we can begin to create the capability to industrialise for health and economic benefits now, and in the future.

“The BIA is proud to have established this industry-led vaccine manufacturing group, drawing on expertise from across the UK life sciences ecosystem and under the excellent leadership of Ian McCubbin, this project is now an important part of the jigsaw in tackling COVID-19.”

ENDS

UK BioIndustry Association (BIA)

Notes to Editors

1. For more information, please contact Jack Fellows, Communications and Media Manager at the BIA, jfellows@bioindustry.org or 07825942934

Workstreams & leads

Chair of the Industry-led Vaccine Manufacturing Group: Ian McCubbin

  1. Adenovirus vaccine: Cobra Biologics & Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
  2. mRNA vaccine manufacture and formulation: CPI
  3. Antibody: Alchemab and Kymab
  4. Fill Finish: Innovate UK
  5. Supply Chain: Fujifilm
  6. VMIC: VMIC
  7. Communications: UCL and BIA

Supported by MHRA, UKRI, GSK and KTN

BIA Industry-led vaccine manufacturing group aims

Short term urgent: Accelerate UK manufacturing capacity & capability to produce Xm doses of vaccine

Long term:  Create a UK capability that can deliver 25 million doses in 24 weeks by 2023

2. The group is built upon work done by the BIA during the Ebola crisis, where the BIA completed a UK manufacturing capacity audit of its members, to help support global international co-ordination efforts.

About the BIA

Established over 25 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative life sciences in the UK. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives.

Link to original press release

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