Biotech investment strong despite uncertainties

The UK’s biotech trade group, the BioIndustry Association (BIA), has published an encouraging report on the health of financing for the UK biotech industry.

Their report indicates that 2018 saw £2.2bn of investment, almost double that seen in 2016 and 2017, and above even the £1.9bn seen in 2015. While comparisons with other countries are only broken down for the venture capital element of the financing (around half of the total), within this subset the UK collected almost as much investment as the rest of Europe combined (although this amounted to only a tenth of the investment in US biotech companies).

This is positive news for UK life sciences given the nervousness surrounding Brexit and its impact on the economy. The report notes that this represents a vote of confidence in UK research and development rather than confidence in the patient access landscape of the UK, but still represents a positive sign given shared concerns across both industries such as recruitment of qualified staff.

The Government’s interest in digital tech, long stated and now laid out in the NHS Long Term Plan, is likely to only strengthen interest in this sector in the UK.

We speculate that a partial explanation for this positive news may be the emergence of an increasing number of companies applying machine learning and artificial intelligence to the problems of diagnosis and treatment, thus drawing additional financing into the industry from investors with a tech focus.

Read the full BIA report.

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Published on 31. January 2019 in News, News UK