‘British companies investing in the UK should not be headline news’

The news​ comes after AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot previously branded the UK as a ‘very unattractive’ place to do business.

So, what changed and will the cash injection encourage other pharma giants to increase their investment in the UK?

“AstraZeneca’s vaccine was integral to the pandemic​ response in 2020, demonstrating how homegrown innovation can have global impact with the right support,” Sharon Todd, chief executive of SCI, tells Bio Pharma Reporter.

“This new investment is a clear vote of confidence in the UK life sciences industry. Science-based businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors will be taking notice.”

While the UK has long been AstraZeneca’s homebase, last year Soriot decided to build a $400 million active pharmaceutical ingredient in Ireland, blaming the ‘discouraging’ tax rate in the UK and touting China as the next significant growth region.

However, Jeremy Hunt has evidently been able to tempt the company back, with the promise of a competitive business tax regime.

Now, Soriot has said the UK government has made key improvements, helping to facilitate clinical trials and introducing tax policies to ‘incentivise companies to invest’. 

‘The environment in the UK for life sciences today is different from what it was almost a year ago… the industry and the government have found a compromise in terms of those rebates that were really affecting companies and reducing incentives to invest,” he said.

“There is more to do to increase investment in innovation in the UK but clearly we are moving in the right direction and in a much better environment. There is more to come.”

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