Resilient UK biotech sector lands £1.8 billion investment in 2023

  • New report highlights sector's strength, investor confidence and long-term returns

The UK’s innovative life sciences and biotech sector showed resilience in 2023, securing £1.8 billion in equity investment despite a challenging global economic climate, according to the latest report by the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA). London-quoted biotechs also continue to outperform UK and US markets over the long term, having made substantial gains during the pandemic that have not been lost.   

Key findings of the report:

  • UK biotechs secured £1.8 billion in equity financings, down only 9% from 2022.
  • UK retains top spot in Europe receiving 41% of total venture capital invested into biotechs across the region.
  • £1.25 billion was raised in venture capital, a 6% decrease year-on-year.
  • The collective share price of London-quoted UK biotechs is up approximately 250% compared to pre-pandemic levels, showing the sector delivers long-term returns for investors.
  • There were no new market launches due to continued low valuations and investor appetite, however, two European listings on Nasdaq signals a gradual recovery
  • Major licensing and M&A deals demonstrate the ongoing quality and attractiveness of UK science.
  • The UK takes the lead in Europe with the highest number of clinical-stage companies.

Steve Bates OBE, CEO of the BIA, said:

“The UK life sciences sector has had some incredible successes and impacts over the past five years. Record levels of investment, stock market highs and a COVID vaccine that has saved millions of lives around the world.

“Although 2023 was a tough year for companies across sectors, including the global biotech industry, the UK sector showed remarkable resilience and investment, and stock market performance continues to outpace pre-pandemic levels.

"£1.8 billion in investment plus billions more in licensing and M&A deals highlights the strength of our science, the talent of our entrepreneurs, and the growing interest in innovative life sciences technologies.

“With the global inflation easing, there is hope for a gradual recovery in the public markets in 2024, which will lead to an improved venture environment. The UK's strong science, coupled with meaningful policy progress aimed at unlocking new pension fund capital, positions the sector well for continued growth in the year to come.”

Some of the key trends the report notes include:

  • Foreign investors participated in 40% of all UK biotech venture deals, demonstrating the sector's global appeal. Seed-stage companies enjoyed the strongest domestic support, while international investor support was more prominent in later-stage deals.
  • US investors are the second most active venture investors in the UK behind domestic investors, but their participation fluctuates year to year more than European investors.
  • French VC manager Sofinnova is the joint most active venture investor alongside the UK’s Meltwind Advisory and o2h Ventures.



Notes to editors:


More news and updates 

Deep Biotech will deliver a more sustainable future, and BIA is its new voice

Deep Biotech encompasses innovative companies harnessing the power of engineering biology to tackle humanity's most pressing challenges, from environmental pollution to climate change. From cultivating meat without animals to crafting bio-based materials that replace harmful plastics, Deep Biotech offers a sustainable roadmap for a greener future. 

Professor Sir Mene Pangalos wins Lifetime Achievement Award at the BIA’s Gala Dinner

Mene led AstraZeneca's pharmaceutical discovery and early development through a key period of growth and innovation and was a driving force for scientific excellence and collaboration. Joining the company in 2010, Mene transformed AstraZeneca’s approach to R&D, fostering deeper academic and industry partnerships, pioneering Open Innovation programmes, and building a culture that values truth-seeking in science.

Resilient UK biotech sector lands £1.8 billion investment in 2023

New report highlights sector's strength, investor confidence and long-term returns. London-quoted biotechs also continue to outperform UK and US markets over the long term, having made substantial gains during the pandemic that have not been lost.   

BIA unveils new data: UK leads Europe in cell and gene therapy as sector makes significant strides  

The UK is cementing its position as a global leader in cell and gene therapy, according to a new report released today by the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA), in collaboration with Citeline.  

BIA reaches 600 member companies, announces new board and leadership restructure 

The UK’s innovative trade association for life science and biotech companies, BioIndustry Association (BIA), today announces that it has reached 600 companies in membership for the first time ever, alongside new Board and staff appointments for 2024.

BIA announces its Charity Partnership for 2024 with RNID

BIA is thrilled to announce its charity partnership of the year for 2024 with RNID, the national charity supporting the 12 million people in the UK who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus. 

BIA responds to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement 2023

Life science spin-outs, start-ups and scale-ups are key drivers of the UK’s innovation-based economy and crucial for discovering and developing new medicines to save lives in the NHS. The UK is home to a third of life science startups founded in Europe since 2012 and companies like them are responsible for nearly two-thirds of medicines being developed globally.

bioProcessUK to celebrate biotech’s shining stars 

The BioIndustry Association (BIA) will honour two distinguished individuals for their exceptional contributions to the innovative life sciences and biotech sector.

UK biotech fundraising picks up with best quarterly total since 2021

The UK biotech sector secured a substantial total of £563 million in venture capital and public financing during the three months spanning June to August 2023, data published today by the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Clarivate shows.

Rare disease companies call for UK leadership in supporting access to new treatments

A group of companies developing innovative new medicines for rare diseases, working together through their trade association, is calling for the UK to lead greater collaboration between stakeholders, and uptake of best practice both in the UK and internationally, to improve access to new treatments for patients.


More within