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Our Stakeholders and section 172 of the Companies Act 2006
The Company is the wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the directors have approved the Company operating in close alignment with CRUK. CRUK has included within its accounts a statement reporting upon how its trustees have had regard to wider stakeholder needs as required by section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 and reference should be made to that statement in relation to certain stakeholder relationships described below (employees and suppliers of standard goods and services).
The Company supports CRUK, as the Company’s shareholder and stakeholder, in the delivery of CRUK’s charitable objects and the directors are kept apprised of CRUK’s strategy and goals, which information supports the directors in making decisions in the interests of its shareholder.
The Company’s board of directors has always, and continued during the year, to take account of the long-term consequences of decisions. This is particularly evident in the consideration and approval by the board of commercial transactions entered into by the Company, because the delivery of patient benefit and achievement of financial returns from the results of academic research is necessarily a long-term activity and relies on strong relationships being created and sustained with academia, industry and healthcare investors.
Stakeholders listed in section 172 include employees, suppliers, customers and the community. Suppliers of standard goods and services are engaged through, and paid in accordance with, CRUK’s standard procurement processes and terms and conditions which are set at group level. Because the Company’s employees are operationally integrated into CRUK and are subject to terms and conditions of employment and working arrangements that are set by CRUK, the statement provided by CRUK under section 172 is relevant to them. It is worth mentioning additionally that during the year, CRUK has continued to adopt measures to promote equality, diversity and inclusion, which the Company has applied (including manager training).
With the exception of suppliers of standard goods and services referred to above, the identity of suppliers, customers and the community within which the Company operates is perhaps best understood as encompassing the academic and commercial research community, including universities and life sciences companies (particularly pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies) and healthcare investors. As two examples of the directors’ role in considering these stakeholder interests during the year, the Company’s board of directors has overseen (and provided feedback and challenge to the Company’s management upon) measures introduced to: (a) increase the number of the Company’s employees who are seconded to, or work within, universities and to promote closer links with research academics within UK universities and their technology transfer offices; and (b) reorganise the Company’s commercial partnering activities, through the creation of dedicated business development and commercial alliance management teams who work in a dedicated fashion with current and prospective commercial partners of the Company. These developments have been driven by a desire to remain close to the community (in both its academic and commercial components) in which the Company operates and have been informed by feedback received by the Company from this research community. The directors have been active in considering and approving transactions entered into by the Company during the year and, as part of this activity, they have sought to balance the often competing interests of the commercial and academic research communities (and the interests of patients) for example by seeking to ensure that contractual terms provide that where the Company’s commercial partners cease to develop diligently the results of research licensed to those partners that rights revert to Cancer Research Technology promptly.
The Company has only one member and therefore no report is provided on the obligation to act fairly between members.