London received an extra boost from global life sciences this month, with Novartis opening its new headquarters and Takeda launching a major new rare diseases campaign.

A core element of what we do here at MedCity is helping companies flourish in our region, and we’re working hard to make sure the UK remains the destination of choice for global life sciences innovators from around the world. London’s heritage as a hot bed for innovation is a long-standing one, and post-Brexit we are already seeing that our draw for companies from around the world remains strong.

This month we’ve been pleased to see some major global companies, with their own long-standing histories, continue to invest in London. And we’re even more pleased to see these companies investing in important focus areas for the region – advanced therapies and rare diseases.


Imperial’s White City campus continues to blossom into a major life sciences hub, with the formal opening of the head quarters for Novartis on 11 February.  The new headquarters were opened by Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Vas Narasimhan, Chief Executive Officer at Novartis.

“The UK life sciences sector is at a crossroads, with many opportunities available for cutting-edge innovation and partnerships. White City is fast becoming one of the UK’s most exciting new hubs for life sciences, and puts us in the perfect position to continue working with our partners to find new ways to innovate and collaborate to build a healthier tomorrow.”  Haseeb Ahmad, country president for Novartis UK

MedCity attended a symposium later in the day hosted by Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) with around 200 UK scientists at the Imperial College London campus location in White City.

The event also marked the announcement of the expansion of Novartis Biome to the UK. Biome is a global network of innovation hubs aimed at strengthening the connection and interaction between Novartis and partners from across the digital ecosystem.


This month, Japanese pharma company Takeda, launched a new campaign in London to fight rare diseases, highlighting a renewed commitment to the UK’s capital. The campaign, I am number 17, aims to help the voices of those with rare diseases be heard, by bringing together 13 rare disease patient groups from across the UK.