Investments in UK Biotech at An All Time High, According to New Data

BIA and Clarivate have released new data that show there was a jump of 60% in investments into biotech and life sciences companies in the UK during 2021.

The BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Clarivate have released new data that show there was a jump of 60% in investments into biotech and life sciences companies in the United Kingdom during 2021, with £4.5 billion ($6.02 billion) raised in public and private financings over the 12 months.

Key findings from the data include the fact that the total amount of venture capital financings increased by 81% from 2020; there was an increase in initial public offerings of 434% from year prior; and other public financings raised £684 million ($916 million) between Dec. 1, 2020 and Nov. 30, 2021. Additionally, given the number of companies from the UK being listed on trans-Atlantic markets, it is suggested that the sector ecosystem is reaching maturity, while the level of venture investments demonstrates a strong pipeline of upcoming companies.

“The UK is a global hub for life sciences, with a world leading academic base, global pharmaceutical players, an increasing manufacturing footprint, and a thriving pipeline of innovative SMEs and entrepreneurs,” said Steve Bates, OBE, chief executive of the BIA, in a Jan. 26, 2022 press release. “There is an obvious gap that we must plug in the UK’s financing environment. The large fundraises seen in 2021 are largely the result of welcome overseas investment, meaning that significant value creation will also be offshored. History has handed the UK two world-leading sectors: life sciences and finance. A symbiosis should exist between these two, but it doesn’t, yet. There is great opportunity to turbo-charge the UK’s biotech and life sciences sector and capture more of its economic value for the UK by building better connections between the UK’s financial institutions and our innovative scaling businesses.”

“In 2021, the global biotech industry was able to attract the kind of funding and support needed to maintain sustainable progress. With continuing focus on the global COVID-19 pandemic, the global biopharma industry not only gained in public prominence but had one of its strongest years ever,” added Mike Ward, global head of Thought Leadership, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Clarivate, in the press release. “The UK life sciences and biotech sectors in particular reached new heights, with a strong academic tradition and deep industrial expertise as well as government and business support encouraging increased financing by venture and private investors in the biopharma industry.”

Source: BIA