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New report highlights size and strengths of UK genomics sector

9 August 2021
Appeared in BioNews 1107

The UK genomics sector is worth over £5bn and a significant draw for investment, a new report has shown.

The Bioindustry Association (BIA), the Wellcome Sanger Institute, and Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) have published a report demonstrating the size and landscape of the UK genomics sector. The 'Genomics Nation' report showcases investment, employment, value, and innovation within the sector.

Steve Bates, CEO of the BIA said: 'The UK's genomics sector carries a rich legacy. Just as Franklin, Crick and Watson made possible great medical and scientific progress by elucidating the DNA double helix structure in 1953, today UK start-ups and SMEs [businesses with fewer than 250 employees] are leading the world in the genomic revolution.'

The report revealed that the UK genomics sector comprises 154 companies that collectively employ over 5000 people. 

It comes at a time when the sector has shown world-leading capabilities in the context of tracking the spread and evolution of coronavirus.

According to the report, UK genomics received 34 percent of all life sciences investment in the UK including £3.4bn in private investment since 2011.

Established over 25 years ago, the BIA is a trade association representing the life sciences industry in the UK. They aim to showcase UK genomics successes in order to attract further investment and encourage innovation. The MDC was established more recently; it is a nonprofit organisation that assists UK researchers to advance their projects towards achieving clinical impact.

'The UK has led the world in the application and innovation of genomics for over 70 years. This report looks at today's companies and their future delivery of precision medicine; with the potential not only to diagnose and treat illnesses but predict them.' Professor Chris Molloy, CEO of MDC said of the successes and potential of UK genomics.

The authors of the report hope that it will highlight the potential of genomics research in the UK, enabling the industry to rival its peers, such as those in the USA, in its innovative outputs.

Professor Molloy added: 'The UK is fertile ground for investors from home and abroad to add additional expertise and capital into an ever-growing industry.'

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