Biotechnology market in the UK to reach US$ 22.8 B by 2024

Biotechnology market in the UK was valued at USD 15.46 billion and is expected to grow at the CAGR of 6.7% to reach USD 22.8 billion by 2024 because of increasing research and development activities for new technological products and rising burden of chronic illnesses.

  • Definition / Scope
  • Market Overview
  • Market Risks
  • Top Market Opportunities
  • Market Trends
  • Technology Trends
  • Regulatory Trends
  • Market Size and Forecast
  • Market Outlook
  • Distribution Chain Analysis
  • Key Market Players
  • Strategic Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix

Definition / Scope

Biotechnology is the technological application using the biological system, living organisms or their derivates to create or modify products or processes for the specific use in the field of medicine, industries, and agriculture.

Some of these products are human health products, agriculture and food enhancement products, animal health products, biotechnology services, and environmental resources efficiency services.

For this, coding mapping and sequencing of DNA and RNA, culturing and engineering cells and tissues, protein sequencing, synthesis, and engineering, and nanotechnology are used. By application, the biotechnology market is compromised of following:

  • Health
  • Agriculture
  • Food and Beverages
  • Environment
  • Industrial processing
  • Bioinformatics

Market Overview

Biotechnology Market in the UK contributes to 5% of the global market share and is holding the seventh position worldwide. In terms of research and development activities for new biotechnological products, the UK is holding the fourth position worldwide.

The market size of the biotechnology market in the UK was valued at USD 15.46 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at the CAGR of 6.7% within the forecasted time period of 2019-2024. It will reach USD billion by 2024.

By application segment, the health care sector is holding the largest segment with its market value of USD 13024.18 million in 2018 followed by the industrial processing sector of 8%. Almost there are 892 businesses engaged in this market.

Some of the key market players are Sigma Aldrich, Orchard Therapeutics, Autolus, Prosonix, etc.

Market Risks

  • Perception of consumer towards biotech products

In the context of the UK, consumers are willing to pay more amount to avoid biotechnological products. A study conducted by Moon W and Balasubramanian SK has revealed that the consumers in the UK are willing to pay almost 19-35% premium to avoid the biotech breakfast cereals. 

It might create the risk for the growth of biotechnology market as the consumer acceptance and willingness to buy is quite crucial for the market growth.

Top Market Opportunities

  • Rising Research and development activities

Almost USD 1122.31 million is spent in the field of biotechnology research in the UK which constitutes 4.5% of all private-sector research and development activities. The UK is the fourth country with the highest investment in biotechnological researches worldwide. 

Almost 3,456 companies of biotechnology are involved in research and development activities. It provides a significant market for the growth of the biotechnological market.

  • Increasing human genome sequencing and declining cost of DNA sequencing

The sequencing of the human genome is in increasing trend and is expected to reach 500,000 by 2020. Besides this, the cost of DNA sequencing has been decreased from USD 10 million to USD 1,000 over the past decade. It is expected to fall below USD 100 in the upcoming five years. It is favoring the growth of this segment, which will ultimately grow the market size of the biotechnology market.

Market Trends

  • Increasing Burden of chronic illnesses

Almost 15 million people are suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes, COPD, hypertension, in the UK.  Almost there are about 363,000 new cases of cancer every year and its incidence rate is expected to increase by 2% within the time horizon of 2014-2035.

Along with the increasing burden of chronic illnesses, the demand for genetics, cell therapy, molecular diagnosis, and new technological products is also rising. In the UK, the health segmented hold the largest biotechnological market segment of almost 84.24% share in 2018. It is driving the growth of the biotechnological market.

  • High demands of new biotechnology products

The demands for the new biotech products are in increasing trend in the UK. More than 60% of people seek for the new biotechnological products from the suppliers every year. It will ultimately drive the market for the production, distribution, and supply of biotechnological products.

  • Regulatory restrictions on the release of genetically modified organisms

In England, the production, growth, and sale of the GMOs are allowed only after the intensive authorization process. Some of the regulatory approach endorsed by the government of the UK are Genetically Modified Organisms Regulation, Genetically Modified Animal Feed, Genetically Modified Organisms Traceability and Labeling regulations, etc.

According to these laws, any research or biotechnological companies with the plan to release genetically modified organism into the environment must obtain the formal authorization from the European Union to approve the marketing of products and government to approve the release of GMO into the research and development purposes.

In order to obtain the approval and consent for the release, the application must be submitted to the Secretary of State and publish the detail information in the national newspaper.

Then, the Advisory Committee of experts considers the toxicity, potential allergens, transfer of new genes, in order to assess the risks of the experimented GMOs to human health and environment. This rigorous lengthy process of approval might either delays the release of the biotechnological products or rejection of the products for release. It will finally restrain the growth of its market.

Technology Trends

Advancement in science and technology is driving the market for biotechnological products. Some of the technological trends are discussed as follows:

  • Silicon Biology: Use of silicon in biotechnology has provided the environmental prospects to produce the silicon-based materials and solve the biological use of silicon in higher organisms.
  • Genome-engineering technologies: This technology enables the modification of targeted DNA sequences through insertions, deletions and specific replacement of DNA bases in organisms.
  • RNA interference: It is the process being utilized to inhibit the gene expression of RNA molecules through the neutralization of the mRNA molecules. Through the use of this technology, new biotechnological products for pest control can be developed in the agricultural sectors.
  • Design-build test learn cycle: It is the technological approach adopted in the field of biotechnology to identifies and solve the problem in the biological components which are targeted to create and change.

Regulatory Trends

In the context of the UK, the Human Genetics Commission is the advisory authority for the use of biotechnological products in the field of healthcare and agriculture. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is the regulating authority for the biopharmaceuticals market.

The UK competent authority for the Genetically Modified Organisms Regulations is the concerned authoirty for the regulation of GMOs. Some of the regulations in the sector of biotechnology are as follows:

  • REACH legislation

The importers and manufacturers must register in the European Chemicals Agency and must have the license for the production and sale of the biotechnological products.

  • Export Licensing and certification

Stringent licensing requirements are required for the export of the biotechnological and pharmaceutical products. For import and export license of controlled drugs, additional licensing is required, which is gained from the online National Drug Control System.

  • Genetically Modified Organisms Regulation 2014

It provides the framework for providing the human safety and environmental protection from the genetically modified micro-organisms, plants, and animals. Along with this, it guides the risk assessment of the contained use of GMOs.

  • Genetically Modified Food Labeling regulations

According to this regulation, the food containing more than one genetically modified must be labeled as genetically modified after the ingredients. For example, if pasta is prepared from the genetically modified wheat flour then it must be labelled with genetically modified wheat.

Market Size and Forecast

The market size of biotechnology market in the UK was valued at USD 15.46 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at the CAGR of 6.7% within the forecasted time period of 2019-2024 because of the increasing demands for the new biotechnological products and rising chronic illnesses

By Application segment

  • The health care sector is holding the first largest segment with its market share of 84.24%. Its market size was valued at USD 13024.18 million in 2018.
  • USD 1242.76 Million: Market size of industrial processing sector in 2018 with the market share of 8.03%
  • USD 596.52 Million: Market size of the bioinformatics sector with the market share of 3.85%
  • USD 298.26 Million: Market size of Food and Beverages sector with the market share of 1.9%
  • USD 198.84 Million: Market size of Environmental sector
  • USD 99.42 Million: Market value of the Agricultural sector

Market Outlook

Globally, the biotechnology market is expected to reach USD 775 billion by 2024 and is estimated to grow at the CAGR of 11.1% within the time period of 2019-2024. 

In the context of the UK, the market value of biotechnology market is expected to reach USD 22.8 billion by 2024 and is estimated to grow at the CAGR of 6.7% within the forecasted time horizon of 2019-2024.

Distribution Chain Analysis

In the biotechnology market, the research and development companies produce the content of the innovative products after clinical trials followed by the approval from the concerned authority i.e. the European Union and the government.

Once the biotechnological product is approved, they are ready for production and sales. The distribution channel such as retail shops, medical stores, depends upon the type of application field.

Key Market Players

  • Sigma Aldrich: It is one of the global manufacturer and suppliers of life science and high technology company focusing on the production of specialty chemicals and biologics.
  • Abbvie: It is a multinational biopharmaceutical company in more than 75 countries including the UK providing services for health solutions through the development of innovative advanced therapies.
  • Prosonix: It is the UK based biotechnological company offering the services for the development of excipient free drug particles to treat respiratory diseases by optimizing target site of action.
  • Orchard Therapeutics: It develops multiple gene therapy to treat rare genetic conditions with market sales of USD 2.33 million in 2018.
  • Autolus: It is the biotechnology company focusing on the development of next-generation CAR-T therapy, which kills the cancer cells without affecting the healthy T cells.
  • Reviral: It has the aim to develop the first antiviral drugs against the respiratory syncytial virus by reducing the viral load.
  • Freeline Therapeutics: It is the biotechnological company with the aim to treat chronic diseases with gene therapy.
  • GammaDelta Therapeutics: It is concerned with the development of cell therapies for cancer using immune T cells and kill solid tumors.

Strategic Conclusion

Biotechnology market in the UK is in the growth stage and is rising at a rate of 6.7% because of the rising demand for the diagnosis of chronic illnesses and increasing research activities for the new biotechnological products.

However, consumer perceptions towards biotechnological products and regulatory restrictions might restrain the growth of its market.




  • GMOs= Genetically Modified Organisms
  • REACH= Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals
  • CAGR= Compound Annual Growth Rate
  • USD= United States Dollar

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