UK biotech enjoys record year for fundraising

Mallinckrodt invests in Silence Therapeutics as part of RNAi collaboration
Credit: Jevanto Productions

Last year, the UK biotech sector raised a record £2.2 billion from investors, according to figures from the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Informa Pharma Intelligence.

According to ‘Confident capital: backing UK biotech’, 2018 saw over £1.1 billion of venture capital invested into UK biotech company, with more than £1 billion was raised on public markets.

Looking at Europe as a whole, the report found that UK companies accounted for 40% of all biotech venture capital raised and 45% of funding raised through IPOs.

Venture capital deals were larger than the previous years with the report stating that there were more late-stage post-B rounds showing companies are choosing to stay private for longer.

The figures show that global investors continue to see the quality of the science and businesses in the UK as a great investment opportunity.

The UK is the leading life sciences cluster in Europe and continues to challenge clusters in California and Massachusetts.

“The UK biotech ecosystem is a key engine of innovation that is delivering jobs, economic growth and most importantly, life-changing new treatments for patients,” said BIA CEO Steve Bates.

“Our data shows global investors see this value and want to be part of the UK’s exciting and fast-growing biotech opportunity.

“Our sector’s success is underpinned by a long-term industrial strategy led by the UK Government. Investor confidence is a direct reflection of the commitment the Government has made to the sector throughout 2018 and in previous years.

“We must keep this momentum going if we are to continue to attract global money into our young and scaling companies.”

Mike Ward, Head of Pharma Content, Informa Pharma Intelligence, added: “Last year was a stellar year for biotech financing across the globe. Investors clearly recognise the scientific and clinical potential of the sector.

“The UK’s biotech sector maintained its position as one of the world’s leading clusters and the sums raised will ensure that British companies have the financial firepower to prosper and create and deliver innovative therapies.”