Commenting on AstraZeneca’s announcement today, Stephen Whitehead, ABPI CEO, said: "AstraZeneca’s decision to locate their global corporate headquarters and one of three global strategic research and development (R&D) centres in Cambridge is welcome news for the UK and underlines our status as a leader in life sciences."


Stephen added:

"Cambridge is a leading UK life sciences hub, containing many of the world’s best thinkers and research. AstraZeneca’s announcement to focus highly skilled research and development functions in the UK speaks to the confidence they have in its strong science base as there are many other rival clusters such as Boston and San Francisco in the US.

"The discovery and development model in biosciences has changed significantly in recent years and although there have been site closures, it is important to note we have moved to a model of partnership and collaboration with academia and the biotech sector to create new medicines. The UK is already a major centre of R&D in the global biopharmaceutical sector and over 10 per cent of R&D spend is invested here despite our share of the global pharmaceutical market being less than 3 per cent. We continue to outstrip all other industries in terms of R&D expenditure and spend more than £12m every day on research.

"The Government's Life Sciences Strategy supports the discovery and development model through initiatives such as the Patent Box, R&D tax credits, stimulation for translational research and support for the biotech sector. In addition the Government has recognised the need for the NHS to play its role in stimulating the uptake of innovation through the Innovation, Health and Wealth review. The UK continues to lag behind in the adoption of new medicines compared to many other European countries.

"Despite the impact on R&D jobs in Alderley Park, we are pleased to note the continuing presence of high tech manufacturing in the North West of England and we support the Government’s decision to create a regional taskforce to ensure the facilities at Alderley Park are used to their fullest in future."


Media enquiries

ABPI Press Office
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 1410
Mobile: +44 (0) 7850 312064

Notes to editors

The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.

Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.

The ABPI is recognised by Government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.  

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