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Brits back and they mean to do business at BIO

 The UK is recognized as leading life science in Europe. Now more than 200 of its firms in the sector are intent on attracting US investment.

There are well in excess of 200 UK life science companies crossing the pond looking for mutual opportunities with their US cousins at BIO 2019 and they come with their strongest hand yet to attract inward investment across all sectors as, Brexit or no Brexit, they remain number one in Europe. And the UK sector is in growth mode, as there are now almost 250,000 people employed in the industry after adding 7,500 jobs last year. In all, there are now 5,800 life science businesses operating across the UK, which includes the largest cluster of advanced therapies companies in Europe, with genomics and digital health increasingly playing a major role. In addition, the UK offers the largest biomedical pipeline in Europe.


The life science sector in the UK now has a turnover of £74 billion, which is why foreign direct investment increased by 5% last year, with US companies in particular looking for a larger slice of the pie. With UK life science relying heavily on innovation from its universities, as do all countries, the British party will include representatives from three of the top five universities in the world for pre-clinical, clinical and health science (see the ground breaking work in Precision Medicine at the University of Glasgow and breakthroughs in healthy ageing at the University of Newcastle – P4/5). Meanwhile, the National Health Service, a key attractor for US investment, will have a significant representation in the British delegation. Rated as number one in the world by the Commonwealth Fund, the NHS serves a diverse population of more than 65 million and treats 1.4 million people every 24 hours. Easier access to key critical data from the NHS has resulted in one in four companies featured in the Global Digital Health 100 list being from the UK.


Leading the UK delegation again this year will be the Department for International Trade, the UK Government department responsible for inward investment, export promotion, trade policy and the lead organizer of the UK pavilion. And they will be pushing the invest in the UK package, which includes a low corporation tax of 19% (dropping to 17% next year), R&D tax credits, which for SMEs is 230% and for large businesses 12%, and the patent box offering that means companies can apply for a lower rate of 10% corporate tax on profits earned from their UK registered patented inventions and “certain other inventions”.


Apart from featuring the leading companies in each sector identified in the UK industrial strategy for life science, this report looks at ones to watch in the form of Digital Science, uniquely offering both seedcorn capital and mentoring awards to fledgling global research companies, Karma Oncology, again unique, but in the oncology specialised clinic development sector, BioStrata, providing specialist marketing communications in life science and Woolcool’s success in turning nature’s super fibre into a packaging insulator in cold chain delivery.