UK biotech sector enjoys record year of investment

A record £3 billion has been raised by the UK biotech and life science sector in the first three quarters of 2021, according to new data released today by the BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Clarivate.

 With £576m raised between June and the end of August, fundraising in 2021 has already surpassed the previous record year of 2020, when £2.8 billion was raised, with another three months of the year left to go.

The report shows in the past quarter, two companies secured over £100 million each and a further three raised over £20 million each in venture funding to finance their growth. These deals, led by experienced US and Korean investors, show the world-leading reputation of UK biotech and life science companies.

Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BIA, said: “The UK biotech and life sciences sector is riding an extraordinary wave of support from global investors. The UK is home to pioneering companies working on next generation therapies which will be crucial in addressing future healthcare needs. This potential is being recognised with unprecedented sums of investment.

“Our task is to use this golden age of fundraising to imbed the UK biotech and life sciences sector as a key industry of the 21st century, to deliver prosperity for the UK economy through providing better treatments for patients. Crucial to this mission will be ensuring there is sufficient private and public market capital in the UK for companies to grow to scale long-term here in Britain. We want to combine welcome foreign investment with the capital and expertise of the UK finance sector to accelerate innovation and deliver returns for UK investors and savers.”

Breakdown of investments from June to August 2021:

  • £ 429m was raised in venture capital by UK biotech and life science companies
  • UK companies accounted for a third of the total biotech venture capital invested in Europe
  • £70m was raised through market launches, including a £20m listing of Arecor on AIM
  • £78m was raised in follow-on financing

Sarah Howell, CEO of Arecor, said: “The figures announced today show the continuing strength of the UK’s biotech and life sciences sector and we were proud to have been able to finance our next steps through a UK listing. Our IPO will allow us to continue building Arecor into a significant UK-based global biotechnology company, developing our enhanced medicines for diabetes and other indications and building further value through our partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies.”

Mike Ward, Head of Thought Leadership, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Clarivate said: “Venture capital investment activity in biotech remains robust and is on track globally to surpass last year’s record. Indeed, companies in Massachusetts, the San Diego region and the United Kingdom have already raised more in the first three quarters than in the whole of 2020. This enthusiasm for the sector is underpinned by the appetite for early innovative assets by big pharma, a recognition by investors of the resilience of the biotech sector while other industries struggle, and the record sums available to be put to work by the venture capital industry.”


Notes to Editors

  1. For further information and interview opportunities, contact Jack Fellows, Strategic Communications and Media Manager, on
  2. To read the June 2021 to August 2021 report, please see the attachment to this email.  
  3. To read the 2020 report, please follow this link.

About the BIA 

Established over 25 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative life sciences in the UK. 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.

About Arecor

Arecor Therapeutics plc is a globally focused biopharmaceutical company transforming patient care by bringing innovative medicines to market through the enhancement of existing therapeutic products. By applying our innovative proprietary formulation technology platform, Arestat™, we are developing an internal portfolio of proprietary products in diabetes and other indications, as well as working with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to deliver enhanced formulations of their therapeutic products. The Arestat™ platform is supported by an extensive patent portfolio.

For further details please see our website,