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As of 9 May 2022, HMRC are dealing with SME R&D claims received on or before 31 March 2022 and RDEC claims received on or before 25 March 2022.

28 November 2023

  • Life sciences implications in the Autumn Statement
  • Novartis raises annual sales growth forecast after restructuring – Bloomberg
  • Lilly’s Mounjaro leads to more and faster weight loss than Novo obesity drug, data analysis finds – Reuters
  • NHS cancer services buckling, warns leading charity – Financial Times
  • Arvinas gets $350m boost from investors to extend runway into 2027 – Endpoints
  • Roivant ends longshot lupus program after phase 2 fail – FierceBiotech
  • Gaming and social media don’t harm mental health, says Oxford study – The Times
  • Acelyrin says CRO Fortrea made errors in trial of lead immunology drug izokibep – Endpoints

Life Sciences implications in the Autumn Statement

The Autumn Statement contained a number of tax measures of impact for Life Sciences companies.  FTI Consulting’s Life Sciences tax team have put together a commentary of the key measures together with their perspective of the implications. The team provides analysis of:

  • The merging of the R&D expenditure credit programme
  • The research intensive R&D regime
  • Expensing of capital allowances
  • Reductions in employment taxes
  • VCT and EIS reliefs
  • Freeports and investment zones.

Contact Oliver Pumfrey if you would like to receive the full commentary >>


Thomas Mulier and Paula Doenecke of Bloomberg report that Novartis raised its mid-term sales growth forecast as the company narrows its focus on innovative medicines with the highest profit potential. The medium-term target, which excludes any foreign exchange effects, is mainly driven by six drugs, led by Kisqali. The breast cancer drug was shown this year to help a wider patient group in a study, in a major win for CEO Vas Narasimhan. Sales should increase 5% annually through 2027 as Novartis aims for a core operating margin of about 40% or more by 2027.
Bloomberg >>
Nancy Lapid of Reuters reports that overweight or obese adults lost more weight and shed pounds faster using Eli Lilly‘s Mounjaro than those taking Novo Nordisk‘s rival weight loss drug. Within one year of starting treatment, 42.3% of those taking tirzepatide had lost at least 15% of their weight, compared with 19.3% among patients taking semaglutide, the study published on medRxiv in advance of peer review found. A trial is underway comparing the weight loss formulations of the two medicines in patients overweight or obese but without type 2 diabetes. Results are expected in 2025.
Reuters >>
Laura Hughes of the Financial Times reports that Cancer Research UK has warned that NHS cancer services are “in crisis”, with the charity calling on the government to invest further in staff and research into the disease. In a report, the world’s largest cancer research charity said NHS England would need to train a further 16,000 full-time staff by 2029 to care for the half a million people expected to be diagnosed with the condition each year by 2040. The report said: “Across the UK, cancer waiting times are being consistently missed, and some have not been met for over a decade.”
Financial Times >>

Kyle LaHucik of Endpoints reports that Arvinas’ $350m private placement will help bankroll the protein degrader biotech as it nears completion of its first phase 3 study with partner Pfizer. The company is largely known for its leading role in the field of protein degraders and a $1bn upfront deal with Pfizer in 2021. The proceeds are expected to keep the lights on into 2027. The new funding extends the runway by a full year, based on guidance that the company gave earlier this month, saying that its balance of $1.0bn at the end of September would last into 2026.
Endpoints >>
Annalee Armstrong of FierceBiotech reports that Roivant’s CEO Matt Gline always knew the lupus drug brepocitinib was a longshot. Now, it seems Gline’s fear was warranted. The therapy, snagged from Pfizer in 2022, did not lead to improvement in lupus disease activity at week 52, failing the main goal of a phase 2 study. Roivant’s Priovant unit will now drop the indication but continue with brepocitinib in a handful of other conditions including non-infectious uveitis. Roivant stated the high placebo response in the trial was the cause of the trials failure.
FierceBiotech >>

Rhys Blakely of The Times reports that the idea that smartphones and social media have caused widespread damage to mental health has been challenged by a global study from the University of Oxford. A survey of two million people found no sign that the digital era had coincided with broad declines in psychological wellbeing, researchers said. Instead overall life satisfaction appeared to have been stable over the past two decades. The study participants, who came from 168 countries, were aged 15 to 89 and their mental wellbeing was tracked from 2005 to 2022. 

The Times >>

Kyle LaHucik of Endpoints reports that Acelyrin said a contract research organization conducting studies of its lead experimental drug had made “clinical trial execution errors” and it was conducting an audit of the work, a setback that’s likely to cost the biotech time and money. The CRO, Fortrea, notified EU regulatory authorities about the identified trial execution errors on Sunday 26 November, Acelyrin said in an SEC filing. Acelyrin, based in California, started extra quality control checks after the hidradenitis suppurativa failure. Fortrea declined to comment.

Endpoints >>

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