Research

UK Life Science Start-Up Report 2022

Our latest UK Life Science Start-Up Report 2022, written in conjunction with leading life sciences developer-operator We Are Pioneer Group (WAPG) reveals a sharp uptick in the number of start-ups and spin-outs in the UK life sciences sector, boosted further by the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

April 11, 2022
Contributors:
  • Dr Ross Gray
  • Dr Glenn Crocker

The impact of life science research on the world has been well demonstrated over the past two years. The pandemic has reshaped global economies and altered outlooks, shining a spotlight on the life science sector in a way never previously seen. Investors are flocking to back industry players following the positive impact the sector has demonstrated – data from the BioIndustry Association shows total investment in the life sciences sector reached a record £4.5 billion in 2021, nearly double the £2.8 billion invested in 2020.

As investment levels rise sharply, so too have we seen a mirroring boom in start-ups and spin-outs, which is in turn driving unprecedented growth for UK life sciences and demand for laboratories. In our report, we look into what this means from a regional perspective and identify the hotspots for start-ups and spin-outs, as well as the key subsectors they are operating in.

Data from the report shows traditional centres of London, Oxford, and Cambridge continue to dominate, pulling further ahead of the rest of the UK, despite the Government’s Levelling Up agenda. Beyond London and the South East of England, regions with the strongest growth in start-ups were the West Midlands, the South West, and Northern Ireland. The regional centres of Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Bristol and Glasgow were all in the top 10 cities for life science start-ups in the UK.

The data in this report was collected jointly by JLL and We Are Pioneer Group and covers start-ups that were formed and investment that was raised in the period 2016-2020, comparing this to previous rolling five-year periods.

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