'The quality is here and that's the biggest driver in pharmaceuticals'. Last night Cpl sponsored theBusiness and FinanceLife Science 50 event at the Science Gallery. The panel discussion focused on the current strengths of and challenges for Life Sciences in Ireland right now. The panel agreed that Ireland is very competitive but that there's more to do if we are to keep pace with global trends.
Ian Barwick, Chief Scientific Officer atProton Partners International, the advanced cancer therapy company, moderated the discussion. The panel consisted of Judith Moffett, Director ofScience and Engineeringat Cpl, Robert Cobuzzi, President ofEndo Venturesand Alan MacNeice, Executive Director ofJazz Pharmaceuticals.
A key point raised throughout the evening was how important Ireland's manufacturing infrastructure is. 'So much of our sector is built around manufacturing', Alan MacNeice affirmed. Keeping processes lean and efficient will ensure lower costs at the patient level. While people will always pay for medicine, Life Science will have to deliver value. With tighter health budgets, raising health epidemics and increased consumer expectations this will become a major challenge for companies in the coming years.
'The good news is it's a very collaborative industry', Judith Moffett added. 'We're seeing competitors co-operating' and companies partnering with universities. This has led to Ireland becoming a 'discovery hub'. Ireland has the youngest median population in Europe, and is one of the best educated populations. The pipelining of talent has Ireland positions Ireland quite well in the marketplace. This will help to fuel research and development and innovation for years to come.
In order to win business from overseas Life Science in Ireland will have to diversify its business. Personalised medicine, eugenics, big data all offer opportunities. We will need to utilise our already competitive base of cost effective manufacturing and talent pipeline to maintain our stronghold in the global marketplace.