Now is the ”perfect time” for investment in the UK’s healthcare and life sciences industries, Vis Raghavan, chief executive of EMEA at JP Morgan, told the HealthCare Innovation Symposium, held yesterday at the bank’s Canary Wharf headquarters in London.

Canary Wharf

Source: Shutterstock / BBA Photography

 Canary Wharf is home to several healthcare and life sciences-focused companies, including Genomics England, Barts Health NHS Trust, and UK Health Security Agency. 

Canary Wharf Group and Kadans Science Partner are partnering to develop a world-leading health and life sciences cluster at Canary Wharf, which will be centred around the development of 1 North Quay.

At the event, which was attended by chancellor Jeremy Hunt, Raghavan said: “These are exciting times for the UK’s healthcare and life sciences industries and the new development in Canary Wharf presents a real opportunity for research and development to grow in London.

”Capital is available and new companies are being created. Innovation using AI and big data in particular is going to transform where this industry goes from here, so it is the perfect time for this kind of investment in the city.”

Hunt also expressed government support for life sciences and technology and the industry’s importance to drive long-term economic growth.

He said: “It’s a huge vote of confidence in the UK that JP Morgan, in partnership with Canary Wharf Group and Kadans Science Partner, picked London for its first large scale gathering of biotech experts and investors in Europe.

“Their faith in our country is well placed. The UK’s exemplary life sciences base meant we raised more capital in the sector than Germany, France and Canada combined. And our thriving life sciences sector is key to growing the British economy, creating better-paid jobs and spreading opportunity right across the country.”

The event was also attended by Chris Wigley, chief executive at Genomics England; Chris Hollowood, chief executive of Syncona Ltd and David Redfern, president corporate development at GSK, as well as representatives from Mereo BioPharma, Sofinnova Partners,  Congenica and Touchlight, amongst others.

This month, Kadans launched its Innovation Centre at Canary Wharf, which provides laboratories and collaborative space for early-stage science companies. 

Kadans Science Partner chief executive Michel Leemhuis said: “We are looking forward to welcoming tenants at our 40,000 sq ft Innovation Centre over the coming weeks, which includes CL2 wet labs and office accommodation with fully flexible leases, and for those companies to join the growing life sciences activity on the estate.”

Hunt recently launched the ‘Life Sci for Growth’ package, bringing together 10 policies designed to fulfil prime minister Rishi Sunak’s pledge to turn the UK into a “science superpower”.