As one of the world’s top players in life sciences, the UK boasts a strong biotech sector, which accounts for 30% of the total UK life sciences industry. While half of biotech companies are primarily involved in R&D services, more than a third are therapeutics and diagnostics companies, and the remaining 15% are other biotechs not involved in medical research for human use, such as AgBio, environmental, or veterinary companies.
After a record year for private equity fundraising in 2021, venture investment in life science companies dropped significantly in 2022, reaching less than half of 2021’s total (2022: USD 1,920 million vs. 2021: USD 4,827 million). Nevertheless, biotech equity financing in the United Kingdom in 2022 is on par with pre-pandemic levels. A similar picture can be seen in the IPO market: While 11 UK life science companies went public in 2021, only 4 UK companies in this sector were listed on a stock exchange globally in 2022.
Looking ahead, the UK government’s Spring Budget 2023, announced in March, gives reason to be optimistic that the UK life sciences industry is poised for growth, with R&D tax incentives and other measures promising to attract new investment into the UK market.
This year’s report on the UK life sciences industry has been produced in collaboration with our partner OBN.