New analysis by investment manager Downing LLP has shown that the number of active UK biotechnology businesses in the field of research and experimental development has soared by 65% in just over three years.

The news comes as the sector is attracting record levels of funding, flourishing in the past three years as annual investment reached £2.2 billion in 2018 says the new analysis by investment manager Downing LLP.

As many as three new companies were incorporated every working day during the first two months of 2019, with a 40% increase in the number of public listed companies (PLCs) with biotechnological research and development (R&D) as a registered activity since the first quarter of 2016.

Currently, 3,456 active companies are involved in biotechnology R&D activities, representing a 65% increase from Q1 2016, when 2,095 active companies were classed as engaging in biotech R&D.

The report also found that London, Oxford and Cambridge have strengthened their position as the UK’s ‘Golden Triangle’ of biotech in just over three years, now accounting for over a third (34%) of UK biotech companies, compared to 27% at the start of 2016.

Nottingham and Manchester also continue to make up the top five UK locations for biotech R&D activities, each accounting for 2% of active businesses in the first quarter of 2019.

Jeremy Curnock Cook, managing director, BioScience Managers, commented: “Healthcare investing is all about timing – using deep expertise to identify promising companies that can deliver within the desired investment window.

“While some industries are voicing concerns about the post-Brexit outlook, we’re excited by the opportunity for the UK to become a truly international hub for the healthcare sector with an attractive funding environment for companies from all over the world.”