UK biotechs enjoy best fundraising quarter of 2022

UK-based life sciences and biotech companies have raised £1.5 billion in equity finance in the first three quarters of the year, with investment activity accelerating in the three months leading to 31 August.

The latest data published by the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Clarivate shows venture capital investment fell slightly by 11% between Q2 and Q3 but two large financings in Q3 by Verona Pharma and Immunocore, both listed on the New York-based NASDAQ, raised the overall quarterly figures to £579 million, the best yet this year.

However, it is clear global economic headwinds are impacting the sector, with 2022 expected to see the first annual decline since 2019 and be only the fourth best year overall for fundraising.

Steve Bates OBE, CEO of BIA, said: “It’s great to see so many companies continuing to be able to raise the capital they need to progress their R&D programmes. However, it is clear that the outlook for all sectors, including ours, is difficult.

“The fundamental strengths of UK science, our companies and our people is cause for optimism, but it’s crucial the government maintains support for the sector through R&D tax reliefs, venture capital incentives and the vital pension reforms needed to unlock new sources of capital to drive our innovative industry forward.

“The UK remains the strongest country in Europe for biotech venture capital and a rival to American clusters. We continue to welcome global investors who see the quality of our science and capital efficiency of our ecosystem. As evidenced by the agreed acquisition of MiroBio by Gilead, this leads to strong returns for investors.”

Mike Ward, Global Head of Life Sciences and Healthcare Thought Leadership, Clarivate, said:

"In line with the worldwide fundraising downturn seen in all sectors, investment in global biotech has declined quarter-on-quarter this year. However, while the sums raised are lower than the past two years, 2022 is on track to still be one of the global sector's best years."


Notes to editors:

A quarterly breakdown for 2022 is:

  • £579 million in Q3
  • £450 million in Q2
  • £481 million in Q1

The breakdown for Q3 2022 was:

  • £247 million in venture capital
  • £332 million in public follow-on financing
  • No Initial Public Offerings
  • Verona Pharma raised £129.3 million from NASDAQ investors and Immunocore raised £120.7 million in a private placement with General Atlantic, Rock Springs Capital, RTW Investments and other undisclosed investors.
  • MiroBio achieved the largest private raise this year with its £78.6 million Series B in June before reaching an agreement in September to be acquired by Gilead for an agreed $405 million in cash.