Genomics in the UK

An industry study for the Office of Life Sciences

Genomics industry in the UK produced by Monitor Deloitte for the Office for Life Sciences, looks at the size growth trends and industry composition of the market and provides insight into the potential drivers, challenges and opportunities facing the industry in the UK.

Genomics is a fast-growing and highly dynamic industry, driven by a number of factors such as the falling cost of sequencing, growing investment from national and international government sponsored projects, and pharmaceutical companies

Current genomics industry revenue in the UK is concentrated in sequencing, however, over time, the analytics, interpretation and applications components will significantly increase in value and increase further growth

Key findings

  • The UK genomics industry contributes 10% to the global market, a total value of 0.8 billion
  • It is expected to outpace the global market, growing at 20%
  • The UK genomics industry is characterised by smaller companies, many of which have 1.10 employees and are at a pre revenue or spin out stage. These tend to be concentrated around Cambridge and London, reflecting the strong academic base for genomics in the UK
  • The large genomics companies in the UK are foreign
  • Currently, over 60% of UK genomics revenues are generated by companies focused on the sequencing stage, with only small proportions assigned to sampling, analysis, interpretation and analysis

Whilst the UK is in a strong position internationally in the field of genomics, the industry is still at a very early stage of development and presents some complex challenges:

  1. Skills shortage in bioinformatics and genomics. These are key skills required to grow genomics commercially and improve the application of genomics in the NHS; their shortage restricts potential growth.
  2. Commercialisation and scale up remain a key constraint for UK industry. It will be valuable to learn from the challenges seen in the growth of the UK biotech industry to help the emergence of scale genomics businesses.
  3. Accelerating application and reducing barriers to NHS adoption. Continuing to build the relationship between academic research and clinical application in the NHS will be critical; including improving reimbursement pathways and reviewing any commissioning opportunities.
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