Budimir Jevtic /
25 March 2019Biotechnology

UK biotech R&D up 65% since 2016, says report

A “biotech boom” is underway in the UK, according to a new report from UK investment management firm Downing.

The number of registered biotech companies carrying out research and development has surged by 65% over three years, the report  revealed.

The findings follow a period of record investment in the sector. The UK BioIndustry Association announced this January that life sciences received investment of £2.2 billion ($2.9 billion) in 2018, with over half (51%) coming from venture capital.

There are a total of 3,456 active companies involved in biotech research and development, 44% of which were registered in the past three years, the Downing report said.

The vast majority, or 95%, are companies in the private sector. The amount of public companies involved in biotech research has also increased by 40%.

Out of the total number of UK biotech companies, 34% are based in the so-called “golden triangle” of London, Cambridge and Oxford.

Will Brooks, investment director at Downing, said that Britain’s biotech sector was going through “unprecedented growth, with substantial investment supporting a myriad of start-ups tackling some of the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges”.

Jeremy Curnock Cook, managing director at healthcare investment company BioScience Managers, added that “while some industries are voicing concerns about the post-Brexit outlook, we’re excited by the opportunity for the UK to become a truly international hub for the healthcare sector”.

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