Buoyant UK biotech sector secures £1.8bn investment in 2023

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The UK’s life sciences and biotech sector showed resilience in 2023, securing £1.8 ($2.2) billion in equity investment despite a challenging global economic climate, according to a report by the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA).

This follows another BIA report in January 2024, which showed that the UK is a global leader in cell and gene therapy (CGT), with significant investment and the highest number of clinical trials in Europe.

The key findings of the new report:

  • UK biotechs secured £1.8 billion in equity financings, down only 9% from 2022.
  • UK retains the top spot in Europe, receiving 41% of total venture capital invested into biotechs across the region.
  • £1.25 billion was raised in venture capital, a 6% decrease year-on-year.
  • The collective share price of London-quoted UK biotechs is up approximately 350% compared to pre-pandemic levels, showing the sector delivers long-term returns for investors.
  • There were no new market launches due to continued low valuations and investor appetite, however, two European listings on Nasdaq signals a gradual recovery.
  • Major licensing and M&A deals demonstrate the ongoing quality and attractiveness of UK science.
  • The UK takes the lead in Europe with the highest number of clinical-stage companies.

Steve Bates, CEO of the BIA, said: “Although 2023 was a tough year for companies across sectors, including the global biotech industry, the UK sector showed remarkable resilience and investment, and stock market performance continues to outpace pre-pandemic levels.

“£1.8 billion in investment plus billions more in licensing and M&A deals highlights the strength of our science, the talent of our entrepreneurs, and the growing interest in innovative life sciences technologies. With the global inflation easing, there is hope for a gradual recovery in the public markets in 2024, which will lead to an improved venture environment.”

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