UK Government statement on medicines regulation

The Secretary of State for Health and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy made a public statement on 4 July, saying that the UK Government wants to retain a close working partnership in respect of medicines regulation after Brexit, The statement provides three principles which will underpin the development of a post-Brexit regulatory system for medicines and devices: patients should not be disadvantaged; innovators should be able to access the UK market as quickly and simply as possible; and we will continue to play a leading role in both Europe and the world in promoting public health.

The EU calls for continued UK participation in the European Research Area

Pascal Lamy, a former EU commissioner, has called for "full and continued engagement" between the EU and UK on scientific collaboration after Brexit. In particular, Lamy is seeking the UK's continuing participation in the European Research Area, which promotes the free movement of scientists, ideas and technology across the continent; “It is probably an area where it is obvious that we need them and they need us” he is quoted as saying. The call is believed to be backed by the Commission's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. Theresa May has previously hinted at the UK's desire to continue collaboration with the EU on science and research in her Lancaster House speech on 17 January 2017.

High Court orders repayment of milestone payments for BACE inhibitor

In Astex Therapeutics Limited v AstraZeneca AB [2017] EWHC 1442 (Ch) Arnold J has to construe the meaning of "collaboration compounds" in a collaborative research agreement between the parties to develop a beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme (BACE) inhibitor as part of a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. All such compounds entitled the claimant to milestone payments under the agreement. Properly construed, collaboration compounds were those which had been discovered as a direct result of the research project, which ended when the collaboration term ended in 2005. The two compounds at issue had not been discovered as a direct result of the chemical structure modification performed during the research project, and were not covered. As a consequence the defendant could recover two milestone payments already paid to the claimant for these drugs on the basis of a claim for restitution of money paid under a mistake.

The decision