The UK is a desirable location for life science companies looking to expand internationally.

Image of Big Ben and Union Jack for article on UK biotech.

With a great tax environment for R&D, the UK a desirable location for growing and innovative life science companies to expand into Europe. Number one in Europe for foreign direct investment, life science companies in the UK receive the most public and private funding in the region. Home to two out of the top ten universities in the world, the UK is not short of STEM talent. With a plethora of skilled professionals working in the life sciences industry and cutting-edge research facilities, the UK has an extensive track record of scientific breakthroughs and is driving the next generation of life-changing treatments and medical technologies. 

Here are some of my picks for companies to watch:

Acacia Pharma (Cambridge) – A commercial stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel products to improve the care of patients undergoing serious medical treatments such as surgery, invasive procedures, or chemotherapy.

4D Pharma (Leeds) – It is well understood that the microbiome has a fundamental influence on the immune system, metabolism and potentially the central nervous system. Through our understanding of the functionality and interaction of these bacteria with the human body, Live Biotherapeutics developed by 4D pharma have the potential to treat a large number of diseases.

The pipeline consists of products for immuno-oncology, CNS, Respiratory, Auto-Immune and Gastro Intestinal.

Ixaka (London) – Advanced cell therapies use the natural therapeutic power of cells to cure disease.  Their technologies enhance the intrinsic therapeutic power of certain human cells with the potential to treat, and even cure, a wide range of serious diseases with a low risk of side effects.  They achieve this either by directing therapeutic cells to the site of disease with our Multi-Cell Therapies (MCT) or through direct genetic modification of cells within the body with our Targeted nanoparticles (TNP) to enhance disease targeting and their therapeutic effect.

Their bioengineered cell therapies are targeted to regenerate tissues, destroy diseased cells or produce beneficial genetic modifications. The disease applications include cancers (both blood-borne and solid tumors), degenerative cardiovascular diseases, genetic disorders, and neurological and ocular diseases.

Silence Therapeutics (London) – Developing a deep pipeline of innovative siRNAs based on their mRNAi GOLD™ platform for diseases with a genetic basis. The depth and versatility of our liver-targeting technology gives us the opportunity to address a wide range of conditions in virtually any therapeutic area. Our wholly owned pipeline is currently focused in three therapeutic areas of high unmet need: hematology, cardiovascular disease, and rare diseases.

Cytox (Manchester) provides non-invasive, risk assessment and patient stratification tools for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Cytox’s mission is to transform how new treatments are developed, people are screened, and how patients are managed within the Alzheimer’s disease care pathway.