GSK reveals plans to invest £40m in UK life sciences despite Brexit uncertainty

Courtney Goldsmith
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GSK is betting on post-Brexit Britain (Source: Getty)

Pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has revealed plans to invest £40m in Britain's life sciences sector despite uncertainty caused by Brexit.

The government today revealed its life sciences sector deal, which is part of the industrial strategy that aims to ensure the UK holds onto its life sciences crown.

GSK's investment will expand its efforts to generate genetic sequencing data from UK Biobank, a huge, long-term study of genes.

Read more: Ministers warned: No-deal Brexit would hit drugs, talent and trials

Four other drug companies also committed to UK investments, including plans by Johnson & Johnson and the Medicines Co to work on new clinical trials and AstraZeneca to undertake genetic research.

US pharma giant Merck last week announced plans to build a new research facility and headquarters in the UK under the deal.

“The UK has a world class life sciences sector, but that will only continue to thrive through a strong partnership of government, industry and academia," said Phil Thomson, president of global affairs at GSK.

"This sector deal contains a number of very practical commitments to strengthen the UK’s life science base and make it more attractive to international investment in areas such as clinical trials and high-tech research. Ultimately, this should provide benefits to the economy and create jobs," Thomson said.

Pharmaceuticals firms have growing concerns about the UK's regulatory framework and ability to attract top jobs post-Brexit. Leading figures yesterday urged the government to speed up Brexit talks to secure some much-needed certainty for the sector.

John Bell, the immunologist and geneticist backing the report, said the sector deal "represents a significant change in both pace and culture that I hope will lead to a flow of such investments into the future".

Read more: Pharma leaders add pressure to Brexit talks with "nightmare" warning

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