Blair Wants London to Be Biotech Power Base

Article excerpt

LONDON has the chance to become a global centre of medical science to rival Boston and California, Tony Blair will say today.

The Prime Minister will unveil a new collaboration between the capital's major research hospitals, drugs firms and universities aimed at turning the city into a major biotech hub.

In a bid to match London's success as a worldwide centre of finance, Mr Blair will host a summit at Downing Street to discuss the idea of forming a "cluster" collaboration to keep London and the South-East as a premier league destination for pharmaceutical and medical research and development.

Well-developed US medical clusters already exist in Boston and California.

But because of London's world-class research facilities, its proximity to Cambridge and Oxford, and the existing bases many pharmaceutical companies have nearby, it is wellplaced to improve its position.

Over the next three months Mr Blair hopes that all the institutions will sign up to a charter for the cluster. …