Trevor Jones CBE, Director of Arix Bioscience plc and e-Therapeutics plc welcomed delegates, with opening remarks from Richard Torbett, Chief Executive Officer of ABPI.
‘In such an unprecedented year, with the stark reality of the economic fallout from Covid-19, the landscape for science and business has shifted immeasurably. Scientists, businesses and government have been working closely and with a real sense of urgency and responsibility’ commented Richard Torbett.
‘Partnerships across the life sciences will be critical as the road to recovery is mapped out, with better and more efficient use of diagnostics and the ability to harness health data. The quality and quantity of data generated during the pandemic has been staggering; home has been connected to hospital and we are starting to build an accurate picture of where patients are in need across the UK’.
‘In a post-Covid landscape, the NHS needs to be an early adopter of innovation and collaboration and close collaboration NICE will be critical to improving patient outcomes, whilst the UK needs to retain a strong and focused global strategy as it navigates its exit from the EU’.
Brexit – Cliff Edge or Catapault
In a pivotal week of Brexit negotiations, the ‘Brexit – Cliff Edge or Catapult?’ panel was especially pertinent. Despite ongoing uncertainty about the likelihood of a deal, the extensive, industry-wide preparations were emphasised.
Hugo Fry, CEO Sanofi UK, commented ‘As an industry we have done everything we can, as we’re patient driven and want to ensure patients still have access to medicines they need.’
The reassuring affirmations continued when the speakers shared their thoughts on what the UK Life Sciences sector might look like in five years’ time. From international collaborations, transforming the UK into a leading environment to develop new technologies, increasing uptake of new innovations and changing opinion of the pharma industry as a force for good, the positivity and optimism of the panel was palpable.
‘Digital Health – Let’s get connected’ was one of several, engaging debates on the ‘Trends’ track. Expertly chaired by Hassan Chaudry from the Department for International Trade, panellists discussed how we must connect pharma with the digital world to produce integrated solutions for both industry and patients.
It is often said that pharma is five years behind the rest of industry and uptake of digital is no exception to this. However, the unimaginable achievement of developing a vaccine candidate in 10 months rather than 10-12 years could not have been done without digital transformation. On this basis, the panel were positive about the ability of the industry to harness digital to fix the existing fragmented model and improve patient outcomes.
“The debate at Pharma Integrates showed how the Industry is pulling together to tackle the big challenges, such as COVID-19, the opportunities around integrating Technology into healthcare and how to partner and lead in a virtual world. Samuel Thangiah, Co-Founder and Executive Director at Life Science Integrates
“I think we successfully pivoted our events to work in a digital format which extended our reach to a global audience, giving senior leaders the platform to have quality debates and build their networks.” Christopher Watt, Co-Founder and Executive Director at Life Science Integrates
Bio Integrates 2020 and Pharma Integrates 2020 were organised by Life Science Integrates, who also hosted Med Tech Integrates 2020, which took place on 15th October.