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| 1 minute read

Life sciences: Innovation, patients and access under the microscope

Ropes & Gray’s global life sciences practice hosted a successful Thought Leadership dinner on 7 September 2023 at Mosimann’s in London for a range of senior leaders, including CEOs and GCs from life sciences companies, as well as investors focused on the sector.

The dinner featured two guest speakers, who provided their insights into some challenging issues related to innovation, patients and access: Professor Sir Gordon Duff FRSE, FMedSci, FRCP, formerly Principal of St Hilda’s College, Oxford; Florey Professor of Molecular Medicine, Sheffield Medical School, Chairman of the Board of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, among others and Richard Philips, Senior Director of the Association for the British Healthcare Industries, a former advisor to National Institute for Care and Clinical Excellence.

Both I and my fellow partner Greg Levine (Washington DC) provided introductory remarks, and the event was also attended by partners Arthur Mok (Shanghai and New York) and John Newton (London), as well as associate Hannah Kerr-Peterson (London).

There are several take-aways arising from the discussions:

  • The life sciences sector continues to make significant strides to build on medical and technological advances: by harnessing a greater understanding of disease aetiology at a molecular level, translational medicine, digital and analytics to improve efficiency in research and development activities.
  • International cooperation and alignment among regulatory authorities is an inevitable consequence of globalisation to optimise use existing resources to address global public health issues with the aim of expediting and streamlining the research and development and approval of innovative medicines and medical technologies.
  • There is a greater impetus in the development and transfer of scientific know-how and technologies among academia, industry, non-governmental organisations, healthcare institutions to facilitate further research, innovations and commercialisation to benefit public health and patients.
  • Patient engagement is increasingly important as an integral part of healthcare delivery and services. Improved patient engagement can promote the development of innovative medicines and technologies to deliver more relevant and impactful patient outcomes as well as improve efficiency in product development. It was recognised that timely patient access to innovation remains a recurrent challenge, which is the subject of a recent publication of the Ropes & Gray’s attorneys related to amplified government pricing regulation at an international level (here).

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investments, life sciences, private equity