UK biotech IPO activity doubled in 2017

Posted on 29 Jan 2018 by Jonny Williamson

UK biotech company ‘Initial Public Offerings’ (IPOs) are raising more than twice as much in 2017 than in 2016, according to report by BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Informa Pharma Intelligence.

UK biotech company IPOs are raising more than twice as much money in 2017 than in 2016 – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

BIA CEO, Steve Bates, said: “The UK’s impressive preclinical and clinical pipeline shows the strength and capability of the UK biotech ecosystem to produce fantastic science that attracts talent and funding from across the globe.

“There is money to be made as this pipeline develops. The Patient Capital Review means 2018 is the year UK pension funds will be nudged into backing this key sector of the future UK economy.

“It is also very encouraging to see that UK biotech companies are scaling and maturing at pace, and the variety of funding options open to them means we can build the third global cluster in bioscience in the UK.”

Key statistics from Pipeline Progressing; the UK’s global bioscience cluster in 2017:

  • The UK has the strongest pipeline in Europe across all preclinical and clinical stages, with 351 preclinical products, 43 Phase I, 70 Phase II and 15 Phase III
  • UK biotech company IPOs raised more than twice as much money in 2017 (£234m) than in 2016 (£105m)
  • UK biotech raised more on the public markets than in venture capital as UK companies matured and progressed through the funding lifecycle with £515m raised in venture capital, £234m raised in IPOs and £452m raised in follow on funding
  • LSE’s Main Market has seen major indirect investment through vehicles that fund the biopharma sector including Arix Bioscience (£113m) and Biopharma Credit (£606m)

The 2017 IPO listings on Nasdaq (NuCana plc, Nightstar Therapeutics and Verona) show that there is global demand for UK biotech companies.

Informa executive editor, John Hodgson, said: “Despite Brexit, UK biopharma investment is internationalising. London’s markets provide cash for biotech globally, UK biotech’s access to international money, and venture capital has migrated upstream.”