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Minister meets life sciences sector

Minister tasked with leading Brexit meets life science businesses

Published on: 21 September 2017

Steve Baker has been hearing from the life science sector as part of the government’s engagement with businesses ahead of Brexit.

Steve Baker, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, was in Newcastle as part of the government programme to engage with UK businesses as Brexit negotiations continue.

Hosted by Newcastle University, he heard from spin-out, start up and established firms in the life science sector about their concerns and suggestions for a future outside the EU.

Minister for Exiting the EU, Steve Baker said: "My visit to Newcastle has been an excellent opportunity to hear about the priorities and challenges facing the life sciences industry as we progress with our exit from the EU.

"The UK has one of the strongest and most productive life sciences sectors in the world, and after we leave the EU we want to ensure that patients here and across Europe continue to have access to the best and most innovative medicines."

Minister, Steve Baker (R) with Head of Enterprise services, Martin Cox (L)

The Way Forward

Martin Cox, Head of Enterprise Services at Newcastle University who hosted the round table discussion said: “The companies were very clear about their areas of concern particularly around regulation, and ensuring that we can continue to attract the best scientific minds and innovators to the UK.

“They also highlighted the importance of certainty around timescales and the environment in which they operate.”

The Minister met representatives from nine North East based firms; Atelerix Ltd, Biosignatures Ltd, Datatrial LtdHistoCyte Laboratories Ltd , Newgene Ltd , Orla Protein Technologies Ltd, Piramal Ltd, Sterling Pharma Solutions and QuantuMDx Group.

Mr Baker also toured the labs of Atelerix, the latest Newcastle University spin-out which is offering encapsulated human cells in an alginate gel making them practical, adaptable and easy to store and transport. The Minister was given a demonstration of how the cells can be 3D printed – seeing the formation of a nose from encapsulated skin cells.

He also met the team in the laboratories of NewGene, a pioneer in developing, validating and delivering molecular diagnostics using the latest high throughput sequencing and genotyping technologies.


Minister Steve Baker with Atelerix's Dr Stephen Swioklo

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