The UK?s biotechnology sector is the largest in Europe and is second globally only to the US. Companies within this sector are supported by the UK?s trade association, the BioIndustry Association (BIA). There are approximately 455 dedicated biotechnology businesses in the UK employing around 22,400, with revenues of around £3.6bn in 2003. UK biotech companies spent £1.23bn on R&D in 2003 and the UK accounts for around half of public biotech companies in Europe.
Within the European biotechnology scene, the UK is well placed due to its greater maturity and much stronger product pipeline. UK companies account for 40% of biotechnology products in the pipeline by European public companies. In addition, 45% of new biotechnology drugs in late-stage clinical trials (Phase III) in Europe are from the UK.
The UK is home to several of the largest specialised biotechnology investment funds. In 2003, UK companies raised £392m of equity investment, more than any other European country. Key biotechnology clusters are in the South and East of England (London, Oxford and Cambridge), the North West of England (Manchester/ Liverpool), and Central Scotland.