• UK Biotech Investment hits High in 2021
    Steve Bates

News & Views

UK Biotech Investment hits High in 2021

Feb 21 2022

Investment in UK Biotech and life sciences companies reached record levels in 2021 with £4.5bn raised in public and private financings, £1.7 billon (60%) more than in 2020, according to data released by the BioIndustry Association (BIA)and Clarivate. During the period from Dec 1 2020 to Nov 30 2021 investments included venture capital financings of £2,518 million, an increase of 81% from 2020 and Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) of £1,304 million up 434% from 2020. Other public financings also raised £684 million.

Aside from the large jump in the portion of venture capital raised in total, the report noted a distinct difference in IPO activity which rose from £244 million in 2020; listings of UK companies on both sides of the Atlantic reflected a market approaching maturity with indications of a strong pipeline of companies coming through.  

“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 BIA Chief Executive Steve Bates.

“There is an obvious gap that we must plug in the UK’s financing environment. The large fundraises seen in 2021 were 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.”

Mike Ward, Global Head of Thought Leadership, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Clarivate commented: “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. 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.” 

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