Kent’s life science community has a new industry champion, following the launch of BioGateway.
BioGateway will help the county’s 150 life science companies employing more than 6,800 people by building collaborative networks and commercial relationships between themselves and with companies and research institutes in the rest of the UK and mainland Europe.
The launch held at Discovery Park in Sandwich on 23 June, was attended by leading figures in the national and international biotech community. They were joined by investors, academics, local and national government and advisers to the life science sector.
Dr Mark Treherne, CEO UK Trade & Investment’s Life Science Organisation, formally launched BioGateway, highlighting the changing landscape of life sciences in the UK and how networks such as this are important to support growth in this sector.
BioGateway was also welcomed by the county’s investment promotion agency, Locate in Kent. Warwick Morris, Chairman, said: “Kent is now firmly on the life sciences map thanks in part to what Discovery Park and Kent Science Park offer, and the future development of Maidstone Medical Campus.
“The life sciences industry is one of the most globally mobile in the world. It relies on a cluster of like-minded companies, skills, lab space and access to market, all things that Kent is now able to offer. BioGateway will play an important role in helping to attract new life sciences companies to the county.”
Simon Westbrook, Acting Chairman for BioGateway and CEO Levicept, said: “Kent is home to many leading names in the life sciences sector, including global players such as Pfizer, Mylan, Sekisui and Aesica.
“Over the last two years, there has been unprecedented growth in the number of companies moving into the region, with Kent becoming one of the fastest growing centres for the life sciences in the UK with over 150 companies employing more than 6,800 life science professionals working in drug discovery, in vitro diagnostics, medical devices and agribiotech.
“As a consequence, Kent found itself hosting a major life science cluster without all of the benefits of an interactive and effective network. BioGateway was founded to create a focus for this vibrant community.”
Other speakers at the event included Tommy Dolan, Vice President at Pfizer, Kim Giliam, General Manager of Genea Biomedx; and Alex Watson, Chief Operating Officer of BioGateway.
Alex Watson further added: “We aim to become the most complete life science network in Europe, supporting its members by facilitating partnering with other companies within Kent and throughout the UK and Europe.
“This important network would not have been possible without the commitment, time and resources freely given by our sponsors and the many local life science businesses. We are most grateful for the very generous pledges made by our many Sponsors, in particular, our Foundation Corporate Sponsors Pfizer and Kreston Reeves.
“BioGateway will also interface and interact with other science networks, associations and institutes, firmly positioning Kent as the connector between the life science sectors in the UK and continental Europe.”