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Jan 25, 2019

UK biotech sector sees massive boost in 2018

Record £2.2 bn raised from investors

The UK biotech sector was given a massive boost last year when it raised a record £2.2 bn ($2.9 bn) from investors.

New figures in a report from the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Informa Pharma Intelligence – ‘Confident capital: backing UK biotech’ – show the total is the best ever recorded, and almost double the £1.2 bn raised by UK-based biotech companies in 2017.

Last year, more than £1 bn was raised on public markets: £432 mn in IPOs and £658 mn in all other public financings. Across Europe, UK companies accounted for 45 percent of funding raised through IPOs and 40 percent of all biotech venture capital raised. More than £1.1 bn of venture capital was invested into UK biotech companies.

The BIA says the numbers show global investors continue to see the quality of science companies in the UK as a great investment opportunity. The UK is the leading life sciences cluster in Europe and continues to challenge clusters in California and Massachusetts.

Steve Bates, CEO of BIA, says in a statement: ‘The UK biotech ecosystem is a key engine of innovation that is delivering jobs, economic growth and – most importantly – life-changing new treatments for patients. Our data shows global investors see this value and want to be part of the UK’s exciting and fast-growing biotech opportunity.

‘Investor confidence is a direct reflection of the commitment the government has made to the sector throughout 2018 and in previous years. We must keep this momentum going if we are to continue to attract global money into our young and scaling companies.’

Mike Ward, head of pharma content at Informa Pharma Intelligence, adds: ‘Last year was a stellar year for biotech financing across the globe. Investors clearly recognize the scientific and clinical potential of the sector. The UK’s biotech sector maintained its position as one of the world’s leading clusters and the sums raised will ensure British companies have the financial firepower to prosper and create and deliver innovative therapies.’