26th September 2012

Geldards’ Widespread Support for Life Science

The life sciences sector in Wales has a bright future according to industry leaders who took part in a high-profile seminar organised by law firm Geldards.

The breakfast event at Cardiff City Stadium attracted more than 150 attendees from across the sector in Wales and further afield, including representatives from a large number of major life sciences companies, SMEs, start ups, spin outs as well as universities, banks, venture capitalists and the Welsh Government.

Richard Moore, head of Geldards’ healthcare and life sciences team, explained: “The number of people attending the seminar demonstrated the importance of the sector to the Welsh economy and also its potential for future growth.”

In addition to offering an insight into the state of the sector as a whole, the seminar provided invaluable guidance to small and medium-sized businesses looking to profit from their innovative ideas and the potential funding that is available from the Welsh Government for life sciences businesses in Wales.

Guest speakers included Professor Sir Christopher Evans OBE, the Welsh serial entrepreneur behind over 40 successful biotech companies who is also the head of the Welsh Government’s Life Sciences Sector Panel.

Together with Ifan Evans, head of the Welsh Government’s life sciences team, Sir Christopher outlined plans for the development of a new ‘hub’ in Cardiff that’s set to become a hot house for innovation in the sector.

Attendees, including Nobel Prize winner Sir Martin Evans, were also briefed on developments in relation to a new fund set up by the Welsh Government that will see an initial £25 million invested in Welsh life sciences companies to help drive the commercialisation of new products and services.

Richard continued: “It’s clear from the event that support for life sciences is widespread, across the Welsh Government, Welsh universities and the private sector.

“It is also clear that funding is a key issue that now needs to be addressed to ensure Welsh businesses make further progress within this dynamic industry sector.”

The seminar was also supported by MediWales, the Welsh life sciences forum, and Richard thanked the organisation for contributing to the success of the event.

Gwyn Tudor of MediWales commented: “It was fantastic to see so much interest in the sector and events such as this help drive future innovation and business success.”

Other speakers on the day included leading barrister Dr Justin Turner QC and Ceri Delemore, head of intellectual property at Geldards. Dr Justin Turner QC offered an insight into the importance of patent protection within the pharmaceutical sector and current legal developments in relation to stem cell research. Ceri Delemore delivered a session identifying the key legal and commercial considerations in relation to joint ventures and collaboration agreements.