The head of the government’s vaccine taskforce faces fresh questions after it emerged she hailed the launch of a biotechnology investment fund in her capacity as managing director of a venture capital firm despite having “stepped away” from the role.
Kate Bingham, a venture capitalist married to the Conservative minister Jesse Norman, came under scrutiny this week when Labour asked the cabinet secretary to “undertake an urgent and swift investigation” after it was claimed she showed US financiers government documents at a $200-a-head conference.
She has garnered further attention after the Times reported that, although Bingham voluntarily declared that SV Health Investors “does not invest in companies related to work on the Covid-19 vaccine”, it has shareholdings in companies named Alchemab and Adimab, which have been involved in the race to develop antibody cocktails.
Separately, in a press release from July – weeks after Bingham was appointed to the role by Boris Johnson in May – she said SV Health Investors was delighted that its first biotechnology-focused fund had attracted significant support.
“With many organisations working in unison to achieve the UK’s mission of maintaining a leading position in precision medicine, this felt like the perfect time to launch the IMF,” she said.
“As with our other funds, the IMF team will work closely with our portfolio companies to maximise the fund’s potential to transform healthcare and contribute to the UK’s mission.”
Read more: UK’s ‘virus’ vaccine taskforce chief faces questions over biotech fund – ‘Kate Bingham’s venture capital firm has invested in companies developing Covid-19 antibody cocktails’. The revolving door between government and Big Pharma is laughable in its blatancy