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London’s Life Sciences Sector Poised for Further Growth in 2024

As we edge closer to COG UK, taking place in London on 20th & 21st February I've taken some time to review MedCity's view on London’s life sciences sector. The sector has seen tremendous growth over the past few years, establishing itself as a global hub for biotech innovation and clinical research.

Dr Angela Kukula, CEO of MedCity writes in her recent blog post, 2023 was a year of major changes that have positioned the city for even faster expansion of its life sciences ecosystem.

A key development was MedCity’s merger with London & Partners, the Mayor of London's official promotional agency. This combined entity is now better equipped to provide support and access to funding for London’s numerous start-ups and growth companies in the life sciences field.

Clinical trials activity also continues to accelerate in London. The city was already conducting more trials than any other European location pre-pandemic. With a diverse population of over 8 million served by a single healthcare system (the NHS), London is an attractive value proposition for most trial sponsors and CROs. In the COVID-19 era, London's world-class research capabilities where highlighted with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine being a prime example.

Investor confidence and funding flows into London-based life sciences are returning to pre-pandemic levels. Dr Kukula expects 2024 to see a range of pitching and financing events to connect investors with London’s promising biotech firms. Multiple domestic and international delegations in 2023 also put the spotlight on the city’s booming MedTech innovation.

There are still challenges, notably around expanding real estate and talent to keep up with demand. But projects are already underway to build new lab spaces and workforce development programs across London.

Key growth drivers like AI and digital biology are rapidly gaining steam, with London home to pacesetters like Isomorphic Labs and its massive deals with pharma majors based on next-gen computational drug discovery. More state support for emerging tech-bio start-ups is planned for 2024.

As the UK heads towards general elections, MedCity is also launching initiatives like the Life Science Proposition for London to highlight the massive economic impact of the sector. Ensuring sufficient high-level focus and continued public investment into the city’s scientific R&D will be vital for realizing London’s vision to be the leading global hub for life sciences innovation.

With all the building momentum and expansion plans underway, London’s life sciences ecosystem looks set for yet another year of tremendous growth in 2024 across research, clinical trials, company creation and job generation.



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