We recently published our latest finance report Building something great: UK’s Global Bioscience Cluster 2016. The report demonstrates that the UK maintained its strong leadership position in European biotech funding in 2016 and has the strongest pipeline for future drug development in Europe.

Furthermore, the UK is in a strong position to close the gap on the leading US life sciences clusters and maintain its European lead if current momentum can be sustained. Although Brexit and the US election made 2016 a challenging year of financial uncertainty, UK companies still secured impressive VC funding, achieved IPOs and received follow on funding on AIM.Overall Picture for financing in 2016

Some of the reports key findings include:

  • UK has the strongest and most robust clinical pipeline in Europe: The number of drug products in clinical development (or in registration with regulators) is higher in the UK than anywhere else in Europe.
  • A total of £1.13bn was raised by UK-based biotech companies from private and public sources in 2016: £681 million in venture capital funding, £105m in IPO activity and £344 million from all other public financing.
  • Venture capital funding remains robust: There was a shift to later stage fundraises – £275m was raised in post-series B fundraises, up from £110m in 2015. There was also an increase in series-B funding, with £184m raised, up from £136m in 2015. With the shift to later-stage fundraises, there was a lower series-A haul of £208m after a buoyant 2015, when £538m was raised. £14m of seed funding was raised in 2016, following £11m the previous year, which bodes well for the future.
  • UK leads Europe in venture capital funding and is gaining on US clusters: UK companies received £680 million in venture capital in 2016, more than a third of the total venture capital raised in Europe and more than any other European country. That total puts the UK behind the US biotech clusters in San Francisco and Massachusetts but ahead of San Diego and well ahead of all other European countries.Venture capital raised UK Rest of Europe and USA
  • More than half European venture capital money will be deployed outside EU post Brexit: The data also reveals that the combined venture capital of the UK and Switzerland is now 55% of the European total. If this trend continues it will mean that more than half of the biotech financing in Europe will be outside of the European Union post Brexit.
  • UK company IPOs: Despite this general market cooling, there were still some excellent results for UK biotech firms. Shield Therapeutics raised £32.5m on AIM in February and four other companies raised over £10m each in their IPOs, with all but one (Motif Bio) choosing to list on AIM.UK IPOs
  • AIM persists as a source of follow-on finance: Despite the downward shift in levels of finance from AIM, the number of financings through AIM for the biotechnology sector rose, from 130 (including 8 IPOs) in 2015 to 175 (including 7 IPOs) in 2016.
  • UK is better placed to realise the value of its science-base: Companies are owning their technology for longer which means that they are able to scale up. We are seeing a greater knitting together of the sector with more deals being done with UK firms.Companies keeping tech for longer

You can read the full report here.