New UK Government support for the life sciences sector

In the recent, 2011 UK Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the launch of the government’s publication “Plan for Growth”.

The Plan reports (at page 41) that  the government has taken a detailed look at the healthcare and life sciences sector with the aim of removing the barriers that affect growth in that sector. Following the review, the government came up with a number of action points to aid growth in the sector, including:

  1. it will set up a new health research regulatory agency to streamline regulation and improve the costs effectiveness of clinical trials;
  2. it will reduce the perceived gold-plating and increase the proportionality of EU Clinical Trials Directive and its application;
  3. it will open up information on clinical research to promote collaboration and innovation;
  4. it will launch a competition to form a Cell Therapy Technology and Innovation Centre; and
  5. it will ensure that the IP system supports businesses in the life sciences sector (including, for example, by the IPO investigating how the relevant patent legislation (including the “bolar” exemption at s.60(5)(i)) might be improved.

Further details of all of the action points for the healthcare and life sciences sector can be found at pages 91 – 98 of the Plan.  We will watch with interest how things develop over the coming months.

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