Investors maintain confidence in UK biotech at start of 2019

New figures published today (Monday 25 March 2019) by the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Informa Pharma Intelligence shows a strong start to 2019 for venture capital investment in UK biotech. £182m was raised by private biotech companies between Dec 2018 and the end of February 2019, almost £50m more than during the same period a year earlier. The figures suggest that the sector could break the fundraising record set in 2018, when over £1bn of venture capital was raised.   


Highlights from the report also show:

  • There were seven VC investments of £10m or more in UK companies, showing investors are confident in the returns they can deliver to shareholders  
  • The UK’s £182m biotech venture capital accounting for almost a quarter of the total £771m raised in Europe
  • Only Iceland raised more venture capital, due to £231m raised there by a single company, Alvotech
  • Public markets were quiet for biotech around the world, with only 19 IPOs globally, and none in the UK
  • China is currently in second place for VC fundraising, between the US in first place and Europe in third

The figures were published as the global sector convenes in Vienna for BIO-Europe, with a delegation of 200 companies representing the UK making up 13% of attendees.


Steve Bates OBE, CEO of the BIA said: “This quarter’s data shows the UK’s life science sector has kept calm and carried on whatever has happened with Brexit.  It is reassuring that investors have maintained their confidence in the UK’s innovative young biotech companies.

“As a sector at the cutting edge of science, the leaders of UK biotechs have continued working hard to raise capital for their R&D programmes to develop the life-changing medicines we’ll all need in the future. Our community is part of a global sector, and we will continue to build relationships with our international colleagues and welcome investors to our shores. The BIA is proud to be part of the UK’s 200-strong delegation to Bio Europe in Vienna today doing just that.”   


Mike Ward, Head of Pharma Content, Informa, said: “Britain’s world class life sciences base coupled with a well-established entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to attract investors looking to back opportunities that have great potential to be transformational for both the delivery of new therapeutic approaches and clinical outcomes that will benefit patients. Whatever happens over Brexit, the attractiveness of the British life sciences means the UK sector is likely to maintain its pre-eminence in Europe and remain one of the world’s biotech hotspots.”




Contact: Jack Fellows, BIA Communications Manager 02076302196


About the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA)
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 and