The United Kingdom: Europe's Biotechnology Hub - - BioPharm International


The United Kingdom: Europe's Biotechnology Hub

BioPharm International

The UK established the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission (AEBC) to consult widely on biotechnology issues and the environment. The Human Genetics Commission (HGC) has been set up to look at genetic technologies and their impact on humans, providing strategic advice to the government. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has taken responsibility for the assessment of genetically modified (GM) foods and the development of new policies.

The European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA) is responsible for fast-track approval of biotechnology-derived pharmaceutical and veterinary products throughout Europe. It provides a single EU-wide license valid in all member states. The UK Medicines Control Agency (MCA) provides approval of other medicinal products and has a strong international reputation.

In 1999, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) was established as a Special Health Authority for England and Wales. Part of the National Health Service, NICE provides health professionals and the general public with authoritative, robust, and reliable guidance on current best practices. NICE produces specific guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, clinical guidelines for specific disease treatment, and the safety of interventional procedures. It also funds studies on improving the quality of patient care.

One particular area in which the UK has been successful in adapting legislation and regulations to changing circumstances is in the use of embryonic stem cells, where the UK is now in a leading position internationally and attracting top scientists from around the world.

Looking Ahead Against this backdrop it is hardly surprising that more and more leading biotechnology companies are committing to the UK. Researchers and businesses alike are assured not only of a world-class environment today but also into the future. To close - as I opened - with words from David Sainsbury: "The UK government sees bioscience as a key industry for the future and is determined to create the best possible environment for the industry to grow and flourish."

Investment Opportunities

For UK Trade and Inward Investment Opportunities, contact:

UK Trade & Investment USA

Hannah Morris, Life Sciences and Healthcare Analyst

British Consulate General

One Memorial Drive

Suite 1500

Cambridge, MA 02142


Tel: 617-.245.4500

Fax: 617.621.0220


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