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- 03/22/2017

Medicines manufacturing can be high growth sector for UK economy of the future

Pharma Horizon


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Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Lord Prior of Brampton, has today visited AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Facility.

Lord Prior addressed a gathering of more than 100 of the UK’s leading medicines manufacturer’s at the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP) conference bringing together experts from across the industry.  

Andy Evans, Chair of MMIP and Head of Macclesfield Site at AstraZeneca said:
“​The UK has significant strengths in the Life Sciences Sector but there is an opportunity to drive further growth in manufacturing jobs and exports in this sector building on the excellence of the Research and Development base in the UK. There are opportunities in the emerging area of Advanced Therapy Manufacturing and also through investing in Advanced Manufacturing to revolutionise medicines manufacture. 

“With a gross value added (GVA) more than three times the UK average1, the medicines manufacturing industry can play a crucial role in solving our country’s productivity puzzle, providing highly-skilled fit-for-the-future jobs and powering economic growth across the UK.
“Working together in partnership with Government to develop the new Industrial Strategy for Life Sciences, the medicines manufacturing industry wants to ensure the economy, our businesses and workers, and UK patients, all benefit from investing in this potential.”

The Industrial Strategy for Life Sciences is one of five new ‘early sector deals’ to support the industries of the future where Britain has the potential to cement its world leading status. Leading the development of the strategy for the sector is Professor Sir John Bell FRS HonFREng PMedSci, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University.

Mike Thompson, CEO, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said:
“MMIP has become a blueprint for how industry can work with government on shared challenges and shared goals. By earmarking £270m through the “Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund”, the government has recognised the potential of the UK Life Sciences Industry and made a critical first step towards supporting research in the field of new medicines manufacturing technologies.

“These are exciting times. The next generation of medicines, including cell and gene therapies, as well as the technologies to produce and test them are on our doorstep.

“Now we need the NHS and the UK government to embrace this innovation and ensure patients in the UK will benefit from the treatments and medicines discovered and developed here.”​

Steve Bates, CEO, BioIndustry Association (BIA) said:
“Medicines manufacturing creates real opportunities for UK growth in jobs and economic activity. This is a sector for the future, both in terms of modernising medicines manufacturing in existing plants like the existing R&D we have seen in Macclesfield today, as well as the progress that the UK is making in advanced therapy cell and gene therapy manufacturing.”

Sue Dunkerton, Director, Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) said:
“Innovation in critically important in modern medicines manufacturing and we have a real opportunity to grow the UK manufacturing footprint of novel highly complex therapies whilst continuing to support activities in more established areas such as biologics where the UK continues to excel and expand. We are bringing together UK excellence from a range of technologies and sectors to contribute to the high value add of the life sciences sector.”

The government published its main Industrial Strategy green paper in January, inviting industries, businesses and consumers to visit the GOV.UK website and respond to the consultation.
Published in November 2016 by MMIP, the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce (ATMT) action plan explains how the UK can become the global hub of advanced medicinal therapy manufacturing and ensure it’s the long-term success.​


​1. At £154,000 the direct gross value added (GVA) per employee of manufacture of pharmaceutical products is the highest in Europe, 40% higher than Germany and Italy, 50% higher than Spain andalmost twice the level achieved in France.
Source: PwC, ‘The Economic contribution of the UK Life Sciences industry ‘, March 2017​

About the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP)
Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP) represents the voice of medicines manufacturers in the UK. It was established jointly by Government and the biopharmaceutical industry in 2014 to ensure that the UK is recognised by the global medicines industry as a world-class, advanced centre for medicines manufacturing.

The UK’s medicine industry is one of the country’s leading manufacturing sectors, with exports worth over £20bn. The Partnership wants to ensure that the UK continues to be an attractive place for this high-value industry to secure exports, provide high skilled job opportunities and contribute to solving the country’s productivity puzzle.

MMIP is supported by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), and includes leadership from AstraZeneca, Eisai, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and ReNeuron. The Chair of MMIP is Andy Evans, Head of Macclesfield Site at AstraZeneca.​