Overview

This quarter stands out as the strongest period since the historical highs of 2021, representing an impressive 48% increase from the previous quarter’s takings. At the current rate, the UK life sciences sector is on track to exceed last year’s total fundraisings.

Internationally, the biotech sector has seen steady growth in attracting capital, securing £10.9 billion worldwide this quarter – a 24% increase since the beginning of this year. European and Asian countries saw a strong recovery. The former doubled the funds raised last quarter. Meanwhile, the US, while maintaining its dominant position in attracting the majority of funding, saw a 21% decrease across all fundraisings.

Public markets

Worldwide there was a notable recovery led primarily by US companies, securing a total £702 million across 10 deals. This represents a 28% quarter-on-quarter increase and a 151% increase from the same period last year. 

This marks a remarkable rebound from the £44 million raised last quarter, making this the second strongest quarter since 2020. Bicycle Therapeutics’ substantial £175.1 million fundraise on NASDAQ contributed significantly to this sum. With renewed investor backing, the sector is well-positioned to exceed the funding levels of last year.

European companies quadrupled their fundraising efforts, collectively raising over £2 billion in follow-on public fundings compared to the lacklustre £397 million in the previous quarter. Notably, the Netherlands contributed with an impressive £839 million. In contrast, Asian and US biotechs faced challenges on public markets, with Asian companies securing £259 million and US biotechs raising £4.2 billion – a 37% and 24% quarter-on-quarter decrease, respectively. The rebound seen by European biotechs this quarter has contributed significantly to the upward trend in global public fundraisings.

CompanyDateMarketAmount (£m)
Bicycle Therapeutics13/07/2023NASDAQ175.1
COMPASS Pathways16/08/2023NASDAQ97.9
Orchard Therapeutics26/06/2023NASDAQ26.7
Oxford BioDynamics22/08/2023AIM6.1
Aptamer Group21/08/2023AIM3.7
CompanyDateRoundAmount (£m)
Beacon Therapeutics12/06/2023Seed96.6
Tenpoint Therapeutics12/07/2023A53.9
Crescendo Biologics24/07/2023ND24.9
Cellcentric30/06/2023ND19.7
T-Cypher Bio29/06/2023ND9.6

Total raised in IPO by quarter, for the past five years

International IPOs

Top five UK biotech venture capital deals

International VC financing

Total raised in follow-ons, shown by quarter in past five years

Top five UK biotech public follow-on deals

Follow-on financings

IPOs

International follow-ons

UK biotech venture capital deals by amount raised and deal count

Total venture capital raised by quarter, for the past five years

2023 Q2 figures at a glance

Initial public offerings (IPOs) remain challenging for European companies, including UK biotechs, as there were no new market launches in the past year. 

During this quarter, the UK biotech sector saw a surge in follow-on financing activity, with public companies raising a total of £315 million after a year of subdued activity.

Steve Bates OBE

CEO, BIA

In the face of continuing global economic uncertainties, it is fantastic to see the exceptional resilience of UK biotechs and the confidence of global investors in our sector. This quarter’s total of £563 million is the best we’ve seen since the record-breaking year of 2021.

The remarkable 48% increase from the last quarter is a clear testament to the sector’s strength and a welcome signal of an improving financial picture. We are particularly encouraged by the renewed investor confidence in public companies. All this combined with the very positive progress we have seen from UK policymakers on unlocking pension funds for additional investment in our sector signals a very bright future.