There is no getting away from the fact that this country needs to invest if it wants a successful bioscience industry, but historically the jam has been spread too thinly
(PRWEB) September 22, 2010
There are vast, untapped opportunities to start up and develop life science companies across the UK according to a new report, UK Life Science Start-up Report 2010 published by Mobius Life Sciences Fund and BioCity Nottingham. The report helps to identify these opportunities and calls for any public investment to be better targeted at four UK ‘hot spots’. It also highlights opportunities for investors in the sector across the UK.
The UK Life Science Start-up Report 2010 is the first comprehensive study of early stage life science firms and specifically looks at the levels of University spin-out activity, the geographic spread of early-stage and subsequent investments, the role of bio-business incubators and the likely opportunities presented by the re-structuring of the global pharmaceutical industry.
Author of the report and CEO of BioCity, Dr Glenn Crocker presented these findings and made recommendations at a gathering of industry experts, government officials and the press at The British Library in London. Dr Crocker was joined by a panel of experts including Lucy P. Marcus, CEO of Marcus Venture Consulting and Chair of the Mobius Life Sciences Fund; Dr Will West, CEO CellCentric; Dr David Hardman, CEO Birmingham Science Park Aston; Mark Warne, Partnership Director IP Group; and Dean Slagel, MD Esperante Ventures.
Key report findings:
- One third of the life science start ups launched between 2005 – 2009 were generated by Universities.
- The Life Science Research Power of a University has a strong bearing on the levels of spin out and patent activity, although the resources applied by a University to technology transfer and its strategic importance also play a role.
- High levels of University life science research activity in a region correlate well with the overall level of life science business activity.
- On average around 36% of start ups reported receiving investment.
- The UK average aggregate investment per company was £3.3 million. In the South East the average was £12 million; in West Midlands, Yorkshire and Wales the average was £0.5 million.
- 75% of investment into life science companies is within 70 miles of the Houses of Parliament, although 53% of the nation’s life science research strength and business activity lies outside this area.
- Nearly half of the starts ups formed in the last five years are based in a bio-incubator or bio-park.
- 63% of companies that received investment were based in bioincubators and these companies gained over twice the funds as those not in bioincubators.
- Almost 80% of life science start up activity is concentrated in just four areas in the UK.
“There is no getting away from the fact that this country needs to invest if it wants a successful bioscience industry, but historically the jam has been spread too thinly,” says report author Dr Glenn Crocker. “It’s not simply about how many start ups are created; it’s about how well university research is turned into business opportunities and the start in life that the companies achieve.
“By focussing greater effort on technology transfer and providing a powerful spinout structure for our seedling ventures we are likely to nurture more, successful firms. Moreover, given the likely reduction in public funds, what remains should be concentrated in the four ‘hot-spot’ regions of Edinburgh/Glasgow; M1 Corridor of Leeds, Sheffield and Nottingham; Manchester/Liverpool and London/Oxford/Cambridge so more can be achieved from targeted government intervention. These areas also contain almost all of the UK’s bioscience business incubators, a network ideally placed to help with large pharma outsourcing, as well as delivering government-funded support.”
Lucy P. Marcus, who chairs the Mobius Life Science Fund and is a BioCity Board member, brings further corporate investment and venture funding knowledge to the research: “Investment in life sciences is essential and in times of ever decreasing funding, knowing where investment can be the most effective and have the greatest impact is essential. This report will help bring some clarity to investment choices, both with public and private money.”
The UK Life Science Start-up report will be published each year based on a rolling five-year period in order to undertake further trend analysis. To receive a copy of the report email m.knaggs(at)biocity(dot)co(dotOuk or download from http://tinyurl.com/BioCity-StartUp-Report and join the debate on LinkedIn BioCity Group.
T: 0115 912 4350
Dr Glenn Crocker and Lucy P Marcus are available for interview.
Press photo call at 17:50 BST on Wednesday 22nd September at the British Library (attend Main Entrance).
Dr Glenn Crocker is Chief Executive of BioCity Notitngham Ltd and a director of a range of early stage life science companies and of the Mobius Life Sciences Fund. He was previously author of Ernst & Young’s Annual European and US Life Science Reports.
Lucy P. Marcus is the Founder and CEO of Marcus Venture Consulting, Ltd. She is non-executive chair of the Mobius Life Sciences Fund, chair of the Mobius Life Sciences Fund Investment Panel, non-executive director of BioCity Nottingham, independent non-executive director and treasurer on the board of the International Step-by-Step Association (ISSA). She is also a Fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, teaching and researching on leadership & innovation, and exploring the changing landscape in funding in biotech, pharma, and cleantech.
Lucy is co-founder, judge and board member of the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Awards, a member of the international advisory board of the Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid, and is also on the board of the Wellesley College Business Leadership Council.
Mobius Life Sciences Fund
The Mobius Life Sciences Fund is the first investment fund in the Midlands region dedicated to the life sciences sector. It is operated by a subsidiary of BioCity Nottingham Limited and receives its investment funds directly from BioCity.
Mobius provides seed level equity investment into early stage bioscience, pharmaceutical, medical technology and healthcare businesses.
The Fund leverages this early stage investment through a collaboration with Nottingham City Council, which provides unsecured loan finance to investees, and by supporting businesses to use the investment to match against grant and other funding.
Mobius adds further value to investee companies by taking a seat on the Board of Directors and using an extensive industry network to access advice and support to the business.
Mobius will also co-invest alongside other early stage investors, including business angels, and will act as a feeder to later stage funds.
BioCity Nottingham Ltd was launched in 2003. The company develops and operates bioscience and healthcare-related incubation and innovation facilities. The first facility opened in September 2003, and Phase 3 in the form of grow-on space, opened in October 2008. BioCity is currently home to 66 fast-growing companies, including R&D and business support services.
BioCity was founded by Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham and East Midlands Development Agency.