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Tomorrow’s medicines will demand an ever closer integration of development science and technology with manufacturing. The UK is the place to make them.

Pharmaceuticals in the UK

The UK has a long track record of cost-effective and compliant medicines manufacturing from leading global companies and has specialised national networks in high value manufacturing (HVM).

• All of the leading pharmaceutical corporations operating in the global market have a presence in the UK.


• Approximately 1,300 companies are involved in this area.


• The sector accounts for nearly 10% (Gross Value Added) of all UK manufacturing.
• More UK-based business research and development is conducted by the pharmaceuticals sector alone than any other manufacturing sector.


• Pharmaceutical manufacturing comprises more than 20% of all business research and development in the UK.


• Sector exports are more than 30 billion GBP.

Pharmaceutical regulation in the UK is the responsibility of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It is recognised globally as an authority in its field and its Innovation Office helps businesses clarify product regulatory requirements and find faster routes to market.

More information on pharmaceutical manufacturing in the UK can be found here.

Pharmaceuticals in the Thames Valley 

The South-East has one of the largest concentrations of biopharmaceutical companies in the UK, with many of the leading organisations having a base in the Thames Valley.

Boehringer Ingelheim 

Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, and the largest private one. The company focuses specifically on respiratory diseases, metabolism, immunology, oncology and diseases of the central nervous system. Boehringer Ingelheim also recently invested £6m+ in refurbishing and expanding its premises.

This is a significant milestone for Boehringer Ingelheim. We aim to create the best possible working environment for our staff. We are looking forward to having the team all under one roof.

Prof Klaus Dugi, UK & Ireland MD at Boehringer Ingelheim


Belgian pharmaceutical giant UCB will be investing £1 billion in R&D over the next five years, including £150-200 million in a new state-of-the-art facility near their existing R&D base in Slough, which will house an early manufacturing site and a hub for UK commercial operations and support around 650 high-skilled jobs.


The decision was announced as part of the Government’s recently published Life Sciences Sector Deal 2.


Alnylam, one of the most promising US biotechnology companies, recently opened its European Drug Development and Commercial Headquarters in Maidenhead. The leading corporate exponent of RNAi therapeutics (RNA interference), which makes it possible to “silence” disease-causing genes; its pioneering drug, patisiran (branded as Onpattro) was recently authorised for use in the EU.


German-owned Bayer, one of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical companies, which operates in the small molecule segment, has its UK Headquarters in Reading, having recently relocated within the region.


At the beginning of October, Bayer opened their flagship LifeHub UK, in Reading, to add to the company’s growing network of innovation hubs.

A number of leading companies specialising in the manufacture of vaccines including:

Sanofi Pasteur


Sanofi Pasteur is the vaccines division of the multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company in the world devoted entirely to vaccines.



Seqirus is one of the largest influenza vaccine companies in the world and a major partner in the prevention and control of influenza globally. Seqirus have also established an operational hub in the region.

Included among the biopharmaceutical businesses in Oxfordshire are a number of spin-outs from the University of Oxford, such as:


Adaptimmune and Immunocore, both of which are working on T-cell responses to cancer and are rapidly scaling up.


Oxford BioMedica, a leading gene and cell therapy group, which announced its scheduled expansion for 2019 into new offices in Oxford. The new facility will more than double the bioprocessing capacity of the Group and create up to 100 new, highly skilled positions over the next two years, safeguarding the company’s market-leading position.