Biotech in the UK enjoys rapid growth

Add bookmark
Pharma IQ

Biotech sees swift growth in job openings despite the shrinking level of life sciences vacancies

The amount of new job openings in biotech increased by more than a third in the year to August 2017, according to the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

This is despite the fact that overall vacancies within the life sciences sector dipped by 5.2% during this period.

Biotech boom

This news emerges following reports from the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) stating that the UK’s biotech sector is primed to close the gap on San Francisco and Boston, the world’s two leading centres for life sciences, after receiving more venture capital funding than any other country in Europe last year.  

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo, comments: “Despite concerns around how reduced access to markets post-Brexit will impact UK pharma jobs, the sector remained resilient in the year to August, with biotech performing particularly well.” 

“The pharmaceuticals sector currently supports around half a million jobs in the UK, and contributes roughly £60 billion to our economy. While overall vacancies are down marginally, the fact that global pharma giants, such as AstraZeneca are continuing to invest in the UK indicates that future opportunities look bright. Particularly when you consider that BIA’s report found that the UK had the most robust clinical pipeline in Europe.”


The data, which is provided by business intelligence specialist, Vacancysoft, also reveals that demand for professionals within ‘Big Pharma’ decreased by 12.2%, while hiring activity within Contract Research Organisations (CROs) remained stable.

The majority of vacancies recorded (55.4%) continue to be for scientists, however the profession saw 6.3% fewer openings year-on-year. Demand for sales staff, meanwhile, increased by 8.8% over the year.  

Innovation in manufacturing

The need for more speed to the market in with biotech products s fueling the acceptance and implementation of single use systems within bio manufacturing despite their complications.

• Over 60% of respondents in our recent research can see biomanufacturing sites becoming 100% disposable one day

• 59% of the same base is aiming to have a fully disposable system.

• Over 60% seek new products from suppliers at least every 12 months.

The ways in which disposable systems simplify biomedicine production are persuading many to implement more of these devices into their production lines. Some have fully committed to this shift from stainless steel equipment, with the ambition to have fully disposable manufacturing lines one day.

The use of single-use bioprocessing equipment is making product manufacture increasingly efficient and frequently less costly, particularly for early stages of R&D. These devices are often the only viable options for smaller and lesser-funded companies that wish to manufacture candidates in-house

For find out more on market trends and pain points with single use systems in biomanufacturing read:  

Pharma IQ’s 2017 Biomanufacturing Market Report: Supporting the bioboom