GSK takes the lead

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I write in response to the article “GSK in biotech venture deal” (3 June), highlighting significant investment from the US firm 
GlaxoSmithKline in a British biotech firm working to develop cancer drugs.

This agreement, worth £208 million, is a great success story in the ongoing battle for life 
sciences firms to secure much-needed capital.

Until recently, this sector was widely regarded as being a niche industry but, as this deal
demonstrates, the situation is changing rapidly, particularly here in Scotland, which is now home to the second largest hub of life sciences firms in the UK, netting more than £3 billion a year.

I welcome GSK’s decision to support Adaptimmune’s work as it is leading where others are proving to be overly cautious.

Previous evidence has shown that many private sector investors are wary of backing pharmaceuticals and biotechnology because of some of the risk factors involved.

However, if larger firms like GSK continue to tread this path, I believe there’s real potential for the sector to have a sustainable, long-term future in both Scotland and the UK.

Neil McInnes

Grant Thornton UK LLP