Industry Data Demonstrates Promise for Biotech Funding in UK

Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

Data from BIA and Informa Pharma Intelligence have shown that, despite investment slowing across all sectors, the biotech sector of the UK is still managing to raise significant funds.

Data from the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Informa Pharma Intelligence have shown that, despite investment slowing across all sectors, the biotech sector of the United Kingdom is still managing to raise significant funds.

In an Oct. 3, 2019 press release, BIA revealed the key findings of the quarterly financing update, demonstrating that for the year up to Aug. 31, 2019, funds worth £869 million (US $1.1 billion) have been raise by UK-biotech companies. However, despite the hefty level of funds raised, it was noted in the press release that the biotech sector is unlikely to go beyond the level of funding raised in 2015 and 2018, which were record-breaking years.

“Across all sectors, companies looking to raise new funds are facing considerable headwinds at the moment,” said Steve Bates, chief executive of BIA in the press release. “Not every year can be a record breaker for UK biotech and in this quarter, Brexit and global uncertainty are factors at the forefront of investors’ minds.”

For the third quarter of 2019 the report highlighted that the amount of venture capital investment in UK biotech companies raised was £114 million (US $141 million), which has meant that the UK has fallen to fourth place in venture financing within Europe. Follow-on financing in public markets raised £100 million (US $123 million) and there were no initial public offerings by UK or European biotechs during the third quarter.

“It would be over simplistic to read longer-term trends from one quarter’s data, but the shape of some of the questions we may examine in our annual data report next year are starting to emerge,” added Bates. “Is the British Business Bank stepping up fast enough to support UK life science venture funds as the European Investment Fund prepares for Brexit? And to what extent are new investors that are taking a greater interest in the UK, such as those from China, able to fund scaling companies to grow as Neil Woodford offloads many of his positions in our sector?”

More information on the report can be found on BIA’s website.

Source: BIA