UK biotech sector sets new record with more than £1bn investment in Q3

There has been a well-publicised boom in biotech investment during the pandemic, and the UK is no exception, with a record £1 billion raised in the third quarter.

Latest figures from the BioIndustry Association representing the UK’s biotech and life sciences sector, showed it raised more than £1 billion in equity finance between June and August, the highest in the sector on record.

Data from the BIA and Clarivate shows £119 million was raised through the year’s first IPO, demonstrating the US appetite for UK biotechs on the Nasdaq.

Figures show £282 million was raised through venture capital, including the return to levels of seed and early-stage VC deals seen before COVID-19.

According to the Biotech Financing Update report, £601 million was raised through public financing on both the London and New York exchanges as the biotech share process continues to perform well on both sides of the Atlantic.

The BIA noted Freeline Therapeutics topped investments with a £119 million IPO on the Nasdaq.

NodThera, which is developing anti-inflammatory therapeutics, raised £41 million in a series B venture capital deal.

And Bit Bio, a gene therapy company, raised £32 million in a series A VC deal.

The UK biotech was outperforming the broader market before COVID-19 hit and since then its relative performance has been stronger and there have been new investors entering the sector on the London Stock Exchange, the BIA said.

Long-term 10 year returns have outperformed other sectors, including pharmaceuticals and technology, in both venture capital and public markets.

Steve Bates OBE, chief executive of the BIA said: “In a year where COVID-19 has caused major disruptions to the global economy it is fantastic to see the strong investment picture for UK biotech continue to gather pace.

“During the pandemic, UK biotech has shown its strategic value and received great interest from UK based investors, with many investing in the sector for the first time.

“This could be transformative for patients and the economy, and for shareholders, when combined with the global money we already attract – large pharma, US and Chinese venture capitalists are already aware of the vast opportunities UK biotech presents.”

 

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