• BIA Support for Businesses During Virus Outbreak

News & Views

BIA Support for Businesses During Virus Outbreak

Mar 25 2020

With the COVID-19 situation continuing to evolve, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) has launched a dedicated website and weekly webinars to support businesses and highlight the important work from across the UK life sciences sector that is helping to tackle the outbreak.

The webinar topics have included:

UK efforts to mobilise vaccine manufacturing capability, potential antibody approaches to novel therapeutics and the impact on ongoing clinical trials.

A discussion joined by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) for a webinar looking at COVID-19 manufacturing capabilities and capacities

‘Running a UK life science business in the COVID-19 pandemic’ where we discuss the support that is available for UK biotech companies..

The Association has also been lending support around mobilisation of manufacturing capability for COVID-19 therapies and vaccines as they develop and support their rapid scale up. Following a UK manufacturing capability audit the BIA has already helped form a collaboration between the Oxford Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility with Pall, Fujifilm, Cobra, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and VMIC to scale up the work being done by the Jenner Institute. We are now setting up a Vaccine Manufacturing Taskforce, led by Ian McCubbin, to urgently find a way to manufacture millions of doses of other innovative vaccines as they emerge, be that viral, mRNA or antibody based. We have identified key workstreams and secured leads for these from Cobra, CPI, Alchemab, Innovate UK, GE and UCL, and we have reached out to supporting organisations such as MHRA and VMIC. 

An antibody workstream, led by Dr Jane Osbourn of Alchemab Therapeutics and Paul Kellam of Kymab has been set up. There is a huge willingness to provide ideas and capabilities from across our community. The objectives of the workstream are to develop viral neutralising antibodies as prophylactics, to protect at-risk groups and healthcare workers, and to develop antibodies as therapeutics for symptomatic individuals following acute exposure. This workstream already has commitment from many BIA members, the wider life sciences community and academic groups.

More information online


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