Three new companies have been given their ABPI membership badges as the UK pharma group continues to grow.

The firms are: Japanese pharma company Shionogi, specialist biopharmaceutical company ALK-Abell_ and diagnostic solutions firm Randox.

ALK-Abell_, which has joined as a full member, has a focus on developing new treatments that target the cause of allergy.

Shionogi, also joining as a full member, is best known for producing antimicrobials and antibiotics. The firm opened a new office in London in July last year, and pledged to expand further into Europe.

Randox has joined the ABPI not as a full member but as a research affiliate, and works with both pharma and research organisations in developing companion diagnostics and research/clinical products.

Stephen Whitehead, chief executive of the ABPI, said: “I’m delighted to welcome three new research-led companies to the ABPI. The industry is experiencing tremendous change and it is an important time for our members while we strive to improve levels of medicines uptake in the UK and as we engage in pricing negotiations with the Department of Health.

“The ABPI exists to provide strong leadership and a strong voice for the biopharmaceutical industry and we look forward to supporting our members as they seek to design and deliver innovative new treatments for patients.”

The membership fee of the ABPI is not publically disclosed, but it is based on the market share of each firm - the bigger pharma firms are believed to be paying six figure sums for their membership.

The ABPI is legally recognised as the voice of the UK pharma industry, and lobbies on behalf of its members on all issues affecting pharma. It is currently heading discussions at the Department of Health as to the future of drug pricing in the UK.