UK Life Science Trend Analysis 2024

UK Life Science Trend Analysis 2024

The UK government published the Science & Technology Framework in early 2023, signaling a robust strategy for the growth of the science and technology sector, with a focus on increasing private investment in R&D. Potentially a result of this strategic push, biotech private equity funding experienced a slight rise both in terms of the amount raised and the number of funding rounds completed.

Biotechnology remains the primary focus within the UK life science industry, representing 36% of all companies. Notably, half of the biotech firms are engaged in Biotech R&D services. Across the UK, the biotechnology sector is followed by medical technology in England, Scotland and Wales, and by digital health in Northern Ireland.

Looking at the top therapeutic areas of biotech – therapeutics and diagnostics companies, 19% of firms are active in small molecule development. This is followed by anti-infectives and immunotherapy, each with 9% of companies. With more than half of all biotech assets in preclinical development (831), many of which are available for out-licensing, the development pipeline offers promising opportunities.

In terms of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), the UK biotech sector saw substantial activity. Noteworthy deals included the acquisition of Abcam plc by Danaher Corporation for USD 5.7 billion and GSK plc’s acquisition of Bellus Health Inc. for USD 2 billion.

For more insights into the UK life sciences industry, download our report. Many thanks to our partners OBN, One Nucleus and Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI) for their support in producing the report.