We haven’t lowered tariffs on food. We haven’t done many new trade deals, and certainly not one with the United States. Hardly any rules and regulations have been repealed, and if anyone thought it was going to help fix the NHS then the winter crisis will have disappointed them. Six years since we voted to leave, and two years after we finally severed our ties with the European Union, Brexit wins have been noticeable mainly by their absence. But hold on. We may finally have one – a partnership with the drugs developer BioNTech to pioneer cancer treatments.
The German company, best known for developing the Covid vaccine that was jabbed into most of our arms courtesy of its larger partner Pfizer, has announced a partnership with the UK to develop a new range of MRNA based cancer vaccines. It is cutting-edge technology, using vaccines to stop cancers returning, or to prevent them from spreading if they are detected early enough. Plenty of countries will be interested in time, but the UK looks to be getting there first. ‘The UK is a great partner for this endeavor,’ the BioNTech co-founder Professor Ozlem Tureci told BBC News: ‘We have seen in the Covid-19 pandemic with the fast approval of vaccines in the UK that the regulatory authority is exceptional. And then there is the genomic-analysis capabilities. The UK is one of the leading nations in that regard.’
The story is mainly interesting from a medical and scientific perspective, of course. Any breakthroughs in cancer treatment will eventually save millions of lives. And yet, it is also interesting from a political angle as well.