UK biotech raises £309m in Q1 before global market downturn

UK biotech companies raised £309m between December 2019 and the end of February 2020 according to the latest data from the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Informa Pharma Intelligence.


The total was boosted by strong secondary financings on public markets in both the UK and US in the last few months before global markets crashed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The data, released today, shows:

  • £186m was raised in public follow-on financings, up from £95m in the same period last year
  • £123m was raised in private venture capital, down from £182m in the same period last year
  • There were no IPOs by UK or European biotech companies in the three month period


Commenting on the data, BIA CEO Steve Bates OBE said:


“This was a positive start to the year but it is clear there are challenging times ahead for all sectors as governments and global markets respond to the coronavirus crisis.


“It’s great to see some strong fundraises by UK companies, like Adaptimmune, Freeline, and Oxford Nanopore, which will put them and their research programmes in a good position for the year ahead. For others, as funds look likely to be harder to come by in the short-to-medium term, the value of R&D tax credits and innovation grants from the Government become even more crucial to maintain the pipeline of research and innovation that ultimately leads to new medicines, vaccines and diagnostics for patients.  


“The importance of a strong and diverse life sciences sector comes into sharp focus at times like this. UK companies and academic research teams are part of the global fight against COVID-19 and we will keep doing everything we can to support them and the rest of the sector.”                 



Notes to Editors

1. For more information please contact Jack Fellows, Communications and Media Manager on [email protected] or 07825942934

2. The update can be found on our website: