Report details extent of growth in life sciences business in London


London’s life science companies are experiencing significant growth and are competing for lab space in the city. The identified demand for space exceeds 500,000 square feet and more than half of that is expected to be met within two years – roughly four times that recorded in 2016 – according to a report released by the MedCity Life Sciences Cluster.

London’s talent pool, facilities and culture, as well as a general boom in scientific research and development in recent years, are driving the increase in demand. For life science companies, having laboratories in the capital also allows researchers to tap into an existing and strong scientific community.

The actual demand figure in London is likely to be even higher, given the huge influx of investment in the life sciences sector since the COVID-19 pandemic, and because the report provides insight companies involved in intensive R&D activity.

Queues for life science startups to get floor space in London innovation hubs are large and cause frustration among businesses with small-scale needs, choking their ability to develop.

Krzysztof Potempa, Founder and CEO of Braincures, a virtual biotech company, said: “Too often conversations about infrastructure and connecting the scientific community focus on large corporations and large academic institutes. We need to make sure that start-ups and SMEs are also considered, because it is the success of these companies that feed the pipelines of the largest life science companies – the whole ecosystem must thrive. together. Right now, the infrastructure and availability of lab space is limiting our growth, and this report shows how we can start to change that.

The report – The London Life Sciences Real Estate Demand Report – explores companies’ perspectives on why they have made London their home. He reveals that the proximity of clinical services and being in pockets of London where other research companies are based are important factors.

However, this may lead to demand focusing on specific areas of London, with companies repeatedly stating that they prefer to be located in central London, as a heat map in the report shows. Poles like the Knowledge Quarter around King’s Cross typically require years of investment and concerted effort from businesses and cluster organizations like MedCity to establish themselves.

Virginia Acha, Global Head of Global Regulatory Policy, MSD, said, “For MSD, location is very important for many reasons. The biggest factor in London’s favor as a destination for scientific research remains the ability to attract and retain top talent. London’s connectivity to the rest of the UK and the rest of Europe is a notable advantage, from a talent perspective, but also when it comes to establishing research collaborations.

Neelam Patel, CEO of MedCity, who published the report in association with Creative Places, added: “This report is an important first step in enabling us to accelerate growth in London. helping life science companies create the right places for growth. This information will strengthen our ability to shape the research community space in London and realize the huge opportunity we have to grow our sector here and across the UK.

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