Liz Truss’ new cabinet must not allow science to be kept on the backburner, the CEO of hVIVO, formerly Open Orphan, told City A.M. today.
“One of the key things for me is to realise that the science industry played a significant role in fighting the pandemic,” CEO Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan said. “Without the vaccines, I’m not sure where we would be. We need to be aware of that and recognise that.”
The government must ensure “we don’t end up harming our scientific research rates” now that we are outside of the European Union and unable to access funding schemes, such as Horizon, within the bloc, Khan explained.
“Now that we’re not in the EU, there’s some concern we may lose the funding that may be available in the EU programme,” he added.
Horizon offered nearly €80bn (£69.5bn) worth of funding to support businesses within the science industry. The UK, a major beneficiary to the scheme, had been the second largest contributor to Horizon, pumping in €6.9bn (£5.9bn) between 2014 and 2020.
The UK’s “challenging” skills shortages has pushed the London-listed pharmaceutical firm to turn to agency workers.
hVIVO’s has revenue shrunk slightly from £21.9m to £18bn in the first six months of the year, despite a heightened post-lockdown interest in influenza and RSV.
The pharmaceutical sector, like most, has been grappling with the effects of inflation, which has hit the cost of labour and energy.
Despite a worsening economic backdrop, bosses at the company remain confident of achieving an around £50m revenue for the full year.