Biotechnology is a science-driven industry sector that uses living organisms and molecular biology to make breakthrough healthcare-related products. The UK biotech sector raised £481million between December 2021 and the end of February 2022, according to a new report by the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Clarivate. This marks a record first quarter for private biotech firms in Britain.
Science Minister George Freeman announced on Twitter: “Record growth in UK Life Science high growth company financings in last 3 months:
‘UK biotech raised £481milllion in the last 3 months.
“Record-breaking Q1 (first quarter of the financial calendar) for UK bio VC.”
The BioIndustry Association (BIA) wrote in a tweet that “key milestones have been reached”.
It comes after several international giants chose to conduct operations in Britain, including Altos Labs, which is backed by Jeff Bezos.
The firm recently selected Cambridge to host its European base.
EyeBio, an American firm chaired by Dame Kate Bingham, also chose the UK for the company’s hub.
The announcement also comes after the Government laid out its Life Science Vision in an attempt to bring a dramatic boost to the sector.
Life sciences can be divided into three areas including pathology, genetics and reproductive science.
The UK Life Sciences Vision is a 10-year strategy for sector to build on the successes of the COVID-19 response and the vaccine rollout.
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According to the new report, the industrial opportunity in mRNA vaccine has continued to grow in Britain, with the Government’s recent £15.9million investment into the supply chain at Croda bringing a major boost.
Key parts of the Government’s strategy include speeding up studies into new dementia treatments.
It also involves helping to develop better treatments, including immune therapies like cancer vaccines.
It is also aiming to keep building on the UK’s position in vaccine discovery, development and manufacturing.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote in the foreword to Life Sciences Vision: “From the discovery of dexamethasone to the global reach of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, British genius and ingenuity is saving millions of lives around the world and allowing us to restore our liberties and livelihoods without spreading this lethal disease to our loved ones.
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“Yet these extraordinary achievements are not merely the product of brilliant science, they have also required a radically different way of supporting it.
“We will direct our record investment in scientific research towards new missions – uniting our world-leading academic base, the power of our capital markets and the amazing data resource of our NHS to forge ground-breaking advances against diseases such as cancer, dementia, and obesity.
“We will utilise the full breadth of our regulatory freedoms from Brexit to make the UK the best place in Europe to invest in a life-science business, helping to create high-skilled and high-paid jobs that will level up communities right across the country.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added: “The UK life sciences sector has been a beacon of hope over the past year and a half, developing diagnostics and life-saving vaccines at remarkable speed to secure our route out of the pandemic.
“This ambitious strategy sets out how we can replicate this same scientific excellence and agility to meet today’s greatest health challenges, doing with cancer, dementia and obesity what we did with this virus – gaining the upper hand with brilliant science.”