Tackling COVID: The Life Sciences Response | IPT
Chair: Chris Green MP, Vice-Chair, Life Sciences APPG
Speaker: Dr Samin Saeed, Chief Scientific Officer UK, Novartis
Speaker: Hubert Bland, Executive Medical Director UK & Ireland, Bristol Myers Squibb
Virtual Event


Tuesday 29 June 2021


This is an online event

Start Time:


End Time:


The production of several COVID-19 vaccines in just 10 months showed unparalleled speed and productivity across the life sciences and university research sector. Access to finance and singular focus drove progress at a high speed. Previously, some vaccines have taken up to 10 years to trial, not due to increased safety measures, but rather barriers to approval, rejected grant applications and limited resources. The Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford is home to world leading experts who had been planning for ‘disease X’ and have access to an onsite vaccine manufacturing plant. When funding was granted and 30,000 volunteers readied, the vaccine was pushed through all stages of clinical trials whilst regulatory bodies were conducting rolling reviews to ensure its approval as quickly as possible. The UK Government invested £230m into manufacturing any successful vaccine, ensuring a quick roll-out by providing adequate provision, transport, PPE and logistical expertise. 357m vaccines have been secured with developers at various stages of trials, with a target to vaccinate 2m people per week across the UK. What lessons can be learned from the emergency response and put into practice for future life sciences projects?

This event will:

  • Examine how to help protect patients at risk during the recovery services
  • Assess the collaboration between the government, NHS, devolved administrations and local councils, the armed forces and the private sector to deliver the largest vaccination programme in British history
  • Explore the important role of the UK life sciences sector in tackling future pandemics, including future regulation of clinical trials
  • Consider the importance of investing in future medical research and ensuring the UK remains an attractive place for research investment