Life Sciences Industry in London

London's life science centre is a quickly growing industry which accounts for a huge amount of London's - and the UK - economic growth. The life sciences industry comprises of pharmaceutical, medical and industrial biotechnology, and medical technology industrial sectors. The subsectors of the life sciences research institutes include the discovery, development and clinical testing of drugs and vaccines which will be, in time, vital parts of healthcare. It accounts for one third of the UKs economic growth and 14% (995) of the total UK life sciences companies are situated in London and its outskirts. From 2005 - 2009, 37 life science companies started up in London alone. 7% of the UKs life science workforce are situated in London as of 2009. 2013 saw £52 billion in turnover from the UK life science industry. These figures results in the London life sciences base being the largest research hub outside of the US. The London-Stansted-Cambridge Corridor fields a whole host of research institutes and companies and provides an atmosphere which is highly conductive to research.

The global headquarters of many of the biggest and best pharmaceutical, biomedical and other life science companies have recently set up shop in and around London, for example AstraZeneca GlaxoSmithKline in Brentford, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The life science research institutes found in London include those in the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Centres. The newest, Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Biology, which was set up in Cambridge along with the £700 million Francis Crick Institute in London, together make one of the most significant investments in life sciences for the past 50 years.

The influx of life science research institutes in London is helped by the impressive concentration of institutes of higher learning in London which are involved in research and the training of research students in the fields of dentistry, medicine and pharmacy. The presence of these educational institutes also causes there to be a high number of start-up companies in London. From 2005-2011, 43 life science university start-ups (39% of the total in London) were created. The educational institutes found in London also produce a highly productive and skilled workforce.

The concentration of life science companies and research institutes means that there are outstanding facilities for future studies and research in London. MedCity, a life science centre built on the model of Tech City Investment Organisation, was established in April 2014 with the goal of attracting research companies and providing an interconnected collaboration of research institutes. MedCity has been carefully designed not only to boost the life sciences industry and increase scientific research but to create jobs and attract a massive amount of investment to London. MedCity is designed to work to commercialize research as well as working on issues which have been reflected in real patient need. Their website,, has several case studies discussing some of the diverse, globally reaching research work that the companies based in the research metropolis.

Of course, the life science institutes also encourage the growth of adjacent industries such as micro-electronics and nanotechnology. Nanotechnology in particular is something which is quickly becoming a major field in many areas of scientific research including medical, drug design and environmental. As of 2013, it is an industry that is worth billions of US dollars, and is predicted to reach a worth higher than one trillion US dollars by 2015. The increase of life science research also leads to an increase of economic growth in other sectors.

The National Health Service (NHS) is a large part of the life sciences industry in London. This is a company which provides medical care to the populace and is a world top ten employer. 11% of the workforce of the NHS is employed in London.