The pharmaceutical industry in the United Kingdom directly employs around 73,000 people and despite the continuing uncertainty around Brexit, UK pharma is thriving and investment is looking positive for 2019.
The bad news first
The news about Novartis cutting 400 jobs at their Grimsby plant came as a blow, but in recruitment we regularly support companies who are going through redundancy procedures, as well as supporting those who have been made redundant. Although it is a challenging time for all involved, in pharma it’s unusual for experienced staff to struggle to find new roles. Novartis have said that they plan to spread the changes over four years and wanted to communicate those changes early and in a transparent way. Making redundancy announcements early gives staff a chance to prepare CVs and LinkedIn profiles, ready for the change. It allows specialist recruiters to work with companies and staff, to support transitions and where possible, career development opportunities.
Brexit will set the narrative for many investment decisions in 2019, with some large producers committing to investment plans that assume a ‘no-deal’ scenario with the European Union.
An example of this is the GlaxoSmithKline decision to shelve £350m of investment at Ulverston. However, there is still around £140m of investment being tracked across the 3 main GSK sites, so it’s not all doom and gloom. Far from it.
The good news
Protel have reported that they are tracking 207 active pharmaceutical projects with a combined potential investment value of just over £4.8bn in the UK. Our pharmaceutical team here at Science Solutions are certainly busier than ever, with new entry-level and senior roles coming in every week.
“Drug discovery companies are competing to generate the next generation of antibiotics with an eventual commercial scale up inevitable. A number including Bicycle Therapeutics, Medherant are looking to secure investor grant funding. This is likely to be a long drawn out process – up to ten years to scale from clinical trials to commercialisation – so no imminent investment is planned, but we’re expecting to see this start to filter through in the coming years.
R&D is continuing very strongly in the UK pharmaceutical industry, the government’s industrial strategy is aiming to bring Universities together with small, medium and large scale businesses to collaborate and commit to further investment in the UK. This involves attempting to raise R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, delivering an increase of £80bn over the next 20 years. £146m of government money in the next 5 years is already committed across a number of areas, for example, advanced therapy, medicines and vaccine development and manufacturing.
Expansion of cell and gene therapy centre in Stevenage, currently at second phase of £12m to double capacity.
UK advanced therapy SMEs are experiencing rapid growth and investment including Oxford Biomedica, Toughlight Genetics and Adaptimmune. The number of UK companies has increased from 22 in 2012 to 64 in 2017, which shows it as a promising growth area. MSD and Qiagen announced a combined investment in the UK of more than £1bn. Merck Healthcare established £30m life science research centre in London and Qiagen Diagnostics to develop a genomic campus in Manchester.
Artificial intelligence is currently being explored for its applications in pharmaceutical diagnostics and is a potential growth area. Potential benefits could include deploying informatics and data analytics platforms to inform clinical operations teams of emerging trends.”
Read more about what our pharmaceutical recruiters could do for you and your network:
Stay in the loop
The UK pharmaceutical industry plays host to a wide variety of industry events, spread over each calendar year. If you fancy a trip to Paris, there’s the Pharmapack event in February, or a trip to Berlin will take you to Pharma Contract Manufacturing in March, but here’s a few UK events to look out for at the start of 2019:
Pre-Filled Syringes And Injectable Drug Devices Europe
- 16-17 January 2019
- London UK
Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry
- 21-23 January 2019
- London UK
14th Annual Biomarkers Congress
- 21-22 February 2019
- Oxford Global Conferences
20th International Conference And Exhibition On Pharmaceutics & Novel Drug Delivery Systems
- 218-20 March 2019
- 30 Apr – 01 May 2019
- Ricoh Arena, Coventry
Cleanroom Technology Conference
- 21-22 May 2019
- National Conference Centre, Birmingham
Happy holidays from Science Solutions
Wishing the UK pharmaceutical industry a restful festive period and a very successful 2019.
From all the team at Science Solutions Recruitment.
Contact us here.
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