Cover stories

Did the biomedical and life sciences industry peak in 2014?

At the time, our biomedical and life sciences product manager, Simon Webster, looked at the sector’s recent developments and stated that the surge “offers opportunities to brokers and insurers who cover this sector – and even beyond”.


Reflecting on this, we could not help but wonder – did the biomedical and life sciences industry really peak in 2014? How has this year compared so far?


In his 2014 commentary, Simon Webster explained that the resurgence of investor interest in the sector indicated to him that the market feels there is longevity in this industry. There is huge confidence in the UK life sciences market.


There are many examples of the sector’s developments so far this year that indicate a continuing appetite to invest., In the midst of the 2015 BIBA Conference we see it as especially topical that Manchester has been referred to as the ‘perfect environment for healthcare’.


According to Manchester Evening News, the city is proving that life sciences and biomedical industry really is flourishing. The article credits the diversity of office space and production facilities for the city’s continuing success in healthcare.


For example, Citylabs, Manchester’s newest centre of biomedical excellence, offers high-specification flexible office and laboratory space, with 94,000 sq of bespoke biomedical facilities, sitting within Europe’s largest clinical and academic campus. Citylabs has been developed by Manchester Science Parks (MSP) & Bruntwood and opened last September.


The £800m Airport City development within South Manchester’s new Enterprise Zone offers five million square feet of Grade A office, retail and leisure accommodation – ideal for a multitude of services, including biomedical, medical device, pharmaceutical and med-tech manufacturing. Medipark is adjacent to this development and will offer more than 500,000 sq ft of offices, laboratories and manufacturing plants, providing a home for high-value, knowledge-intensive life science and healthcare-related businesses.


Just a mile away from the BIBA conference, The National Graphene Institute opened last month, becoming the world’s leading centre of research into the world’s thinnest, strongest and most conductive material. Isolated for the first time at the University of Manchester in 2004, graphene has the potential to revolutionise a number of diverse biohealth applications – from drug delivery and disease diagnostics.


Based in the city centre, The Corridor is home to a wealth of knowledge-intensive organisations operating in the area of biomedical, pharmaceuticals, clinical trials, medical devices and oncology-related healthcare. This is also the location of the Universities, the Central Manchester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, various leading medical research institutes; Europe’s biggest cancer treatment centre and largest clinical academic campus.


All that Manchester has to offer for the future of the biomedical and life sciences industry and the vast investment that has been injected into the city to enhance the sector confirms that last year’s peak will not be the highest point for the industry, and that the mad scientists from our stand last year were right where they belong!