Measuring what matters – focusing on the most material issues
From 2021 we will integrate the materiality assessment process into our overall Risk Management framework.
The pharmaceutical industry is facing an increasing number of productivity challenges. From 2010-18, the cost of bringing a new drug to market almost doubled, to $2.2bn, whilst the average project length increased from 9.7 years in the 1990s to 10-15 years in the 2010s. Avoidable Experiment Expenditure (AEE) is a significant source of unnecessary spend and effort, significantly contributing to the increase in project costs and length. Over 40% of spend on drug development goes toward preclinical R&D, however, irreproducibility rates in preclinical experiments exceed 50%, costing the industry nearly $48 billion annually. Over a third of this, or more than $17 billion, can be attributed to the ineffectiveness of biological reagents or reference materials.
Addressing reagent related AEE through the provision of high-quality reagents will allow life science organisations to recoup unnecessary spend whilst improving R&D efficiency, bringing drugs to clinical trial faster, and generally accelerating pipeline progress
According to the UN, the global population is getting older. They say that by 2030 there will be more people over 60 than there will be children under 10 and by 2050 there will be 2 billion older people on the planet. Meanwhile non-communicable diseases are increasing in-line with ageing populations and, at the same time, higher global temperatures are changing patterns of transmissible disease, presenting new challenges to human healthcare. These meta-trends will have a significant impact on research needs and priorities. The challenge for us is to pre-empt demand and develop an innovation pipeline to meet the evolving requirements of life scientists.
New technologies have the capacity to significantly disrupt the life sciences sector we serve. The speed, power and potential of new and developing technologies is likely to change research requirements and processes, with advanced modelling potentially replacing traditional methodologies. This could greatly accelerate discovery for new medicines and treatments. It will also have a profound impact on how we work and serve our customers. The ability to work together digitally and securely across multiple locations, simultaneously, has the potential to unlock new efficiencies in emissions, cost and time.
We recognise our responsibility to protect the environment. While we are a low polluting and low resource intensive business, climate change is likely to impact Abcam and our stakeholders in a number of ways. Changing disease patterns (as described above) and extreme weather events are just two examples of risks to our people and supply chain that would be heightened. On a more strategic level, the potential economic and geopolitical consequences of climate change may change our commercial environment. In our view, the requirement and necessity for all businesses to be on the front-foot and demonstrate action on climate change will only grow.
Ensuring that Abcam products are appropriately and ethically used for the purposes they are intended, with controls around partners, and sales withheld should there be concerns identified.
Ensuring a zero tolerance of bribery and corruption anywhere in the value chain
Ensuring that Abcam’s global supply chain is ethically responsible, adheres to the same high standards of conduct and is validated.
Abcam must ensure suppliers adhere to rigorous standards of animal welfare and actively promote the adoption of the NC3R’s directive.
Central to our purpose and mission and fundamental to our customers, a key differentiator. Key reputation and compliance risk
Requirement to continue to pre-empt and meet future research needs, build an effective R&D model and continue Abcam differentiation in product and service
Loss of control of key data or IP
Operational/sales risk of outage of principal online sales channel
Ability to attract, retain and develop talent is fundamental to vision, mission and future growth
Supporting the next generation of scientists by encouraging a diverse pipeline of talent to enter into science
We want Abcam to be the best place to work with everyone vested in our success in a healthy, safe, enriching environment
Importance of growing a diverse and inclusive culture
Abcam needs to maintain the organisational agility to work in innovative and flexible ways to continue to service customers in a range of different scenarios
Risk of a substantial reduction in funding for life sciences in one or more of Abcam’s significant territories
Risk of significant deterioration of US/China relations in medium
Abcam’s ongoing efforts to monitor and reduce emissions and contribute to global climate change targets
Continued efforts to reduce waste throughout the value chain
Our impacts and the progress we make and the measures we take to meet them are dynamic and ongoing.
Our sustainability framework weaves together our purpose, culture and strategy, and sets out our priority areas.
It is for everyone in the business to play their part: from our Board of Directors through to all of our employees.