The UK’s fastest-growing life sciences companies

| Hannah Skingle

The UK Life Sciences landscape

The Life Sciences sector covers companies that develop pharmaceuticals, research tools and reagents, based on scientific research of organisms. 

From the discovery of penicillin in 1928 to the structure of DNA in the 1950s, the UK is global leader and innovator of the Life Sciences industry. With an uncertain political and economic road ahead, the British government has committed to supporting the sector through its Life Sciences Sector Deal in order to maintain this world-class position.  

We’ve outlined the UK’s Life Sciences landscape and provided a downloadable spreadsheet of the top companies in the sector – by amount of funding received, percentage growth in turnover and latest valuation. 

Top 10 UK life sciences companies by total funding received

Company Total funding received
Oxford Nanopore
Freeline Therapeutic
Cell Medica
Artios Pharma
TauRx Pharmaceuticals
MISSION Therapeutics
Crescendo Biologics

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We’ll send you an .xls spreadsheet with key information on some of the leading life sciences companies in the UK.

UK companies in the Life Sciences sector

There are 730 ambitious, private UK companies actively operating in the life sciences sector. An additional 102 have exited the market, either through an IPO or an acquisition, and 71 are no longer trading.

Key events

80% of UK Life Sciences companies have used equity investment to grow, and 56% have received large innovation grants. 42% have been spun-out from academic institutions – that’s ten times the rate across all sectors. 

Only 9% have achieved the OECD’s definition scaleup status. This is half the rate across all sectors, demonstrating that Life Sciences companies tend to delay revenue growth in favour of developing strong IP and products.

Received equity investment
Received a large Innovation Grant
Spun-out from an Academic institution
achieved Scaleup status

Fundraisings into the Life Sciences

The average amount raised by Life Sciences companies (£3.43m) is almost twice as high as the average across all sectors (£1.8m). This is indicative of the fact that these companies require more capital and resource for research and development than other venture backed businesses. 

Number of deals

Total amount raised

£ b

Average amount raised

£ m

Average pre-money valuation

£ m

Take a look at our annual equity investment report, The Deal, for a more in-depth analysis of fundraising across all sectors in the UK.

Top investors into Life Sciences by deal numbers

Scottish Enterprise
Touchstone Innovations
Development Bank of Wales
Parkwalk Advisors
Catapult Venture Managers

All this data comes from the Beauhurst platform