2018 a record year for UK biotech fundraising

New figures published today (Thursday 24 January 2019) by the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Informa Pharma Intelligence reveal that the UK biotech sector raised a record £2.2 billion from investors in 2018. The total is the best ever recorded by the trade association and almost double that raised in 2017.

The data is presented in the report Confident capital: backing UK biotech and launched by the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick MP, at the BIA's Strategic Technologies event in central London today.

Highlights from the report:

  • £2.2bn was raised by UK-based biotech companies in 2018, compared to £1.2bn in 2017
  • Over £1.1bn of venture capital was invested into UK biotech companies
  • Over £1bn was raised on public markets: £432m in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and £658m in all other public financings
  • Across Europe, UK companies accounted for 40% of all biotech venture capital raised and 45% of funding raised through IPOs
  • Venture capital deal rounds were larger than previous years and there were more late-stage post-B rounds, showing companies are choosing to stay private for longer

The figures show that global investors continue to see the quality of the science and businesses 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 OBE, BIA CEO, said:  

“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.

“Our sector’s success is underpinned by a long-term industrial strategy led by the UK Government. 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, Informa Pharma Intelligence, said:

“Last year was a stellar year for biotech financing across the globe. Investors clearly recognise 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 that British companies have the financial firepower to prosper and create and deliver innovative therapies.”

Robert Jenrick MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“The life sciences sector plays a key role in the economy and has attracted record-breaking investment for our biotech SMEs.

“We want to make sure life science SMEs can access the finance they need to reach their global potential. Our Patient Capital Review will help generate £20 billion over the next ten years to help fund innovative firms like these, and we are encouraging further investment from pension funds to boost growth in this sector.”

Notes to Editors:

Keep up to date with our Strategic Technologies event on twitter using #BIAStrategicTechnologies

Contact: Jack Fellows, Communications and Media Relations Manager, BIA jfellows@bioindustry.org 0207 630 2196

About the BioIndustry Association

Established over 25 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative enterprises involved in UK bioscience. Members include emerging and more established bioscience companies; pharmaceutical companies; academic, research and philanthropic organisations; and service providers to the bioscience sector. The BIA represents the interests of its members to a broad section of stakeholders, from government and regulators to patient groups and the media. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives.

For further information, please go to www.bioindustry.org and twitter.com/BIA_UK.

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