EU rules may be stifling Britain’s biotech industry
EU rules are stifling Britain’s biotech industry, according to companies who talked to British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
The newspaper has reported that various sources have said that the government’s implementation of EU rules, regarding the grant funding criteria is hindering innovation.
The Daily Telegraph claims that it is aware of a number of cases in which the UK government’s start-up funding body, Innovate UK, has enforced the tougher EU rules over the ways in which grants and funding are allocated.
The rules prevent companies whose losses equal more than half of their share in capital from receiving grant money.
It is feared that this rule disproportionately affects biotechs, who often ramp up significant losses before they begin to generate revenue, due to the lengthy drug development process.
“The biotech sector is particularly important to the UK. I think the majority of biotech companies would be affected, easily the majority, by this rule,” one chief technology officer at a vaccine specialist said to the paper.
Steve Bates, the chief executive of the Biopharma Association said: “The bioscience sector requires a sustained funding ladder where promising innovations and companies have the most optimal environment from start up to liquidity, and Innovate UK funding continues to be an integral rung on that ladder.”
Innovate UK responded to the criticism in suggesting that the body “funds the best new ideas that create jobs and growth and drive up productivity.” The innovation funding organisation added: “Securing Innovate UK funding is a highly competitive process, and just because a company has been funded previously, there is no guarantee that they will be funded subsequently.”
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