Posted by Claus Andersen, Partner
Is the British Biotech sector immune to COVID-19?
As the social, economic, and health impacts of COVID continue to ripple around the globe, it would seem that the UK Biotech sector is weathering the storm. But despite its robust response, there are warming signs that should not be ignored.
A recent survey from the UK BioIndustry Association (“BIA”) and Clarivate suggests that the British biotech sector is in very good shape. The survey shows that in the period from March to May 2020, ie. when the Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak in the UK, businesses in the biotech industry manged to raise £585 million. In fact, a total of £894 million was raised in the first 6 months of 2020.
This is remarkable, as this sum exceeds the amount raised in the same period of 2018, which was a record breaking year. In the first 6 months of 2018 £831 million was raised.
Therefore regardless of the pandemic, businesses in the sector were able to attract significant investment. It is a testament to the strength of the British biotech sector. The report shows that the raised £585m from March to May 2020 were mainly from later-stage private deals and follow-on financings on the public markets.
However, the report also showed the sector was not totally unaffected by the Covid – 19 pandemic, as early-stage private financing seems to have been hit, with many investors abandoning or pausing deals until the full extent of the pandemic emerges. A link to the report can be found here.
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