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Doing OK

Despite uncertainties created by Britain's impending departure from the European Union, biotech in the UK has been thriving, the Guardian writes.

It reports that investors poured £1.6 billion ($2.0 billion) into the sector in the first eight months of 2018, more than the £1.2 billion they invested in all of 2017.

According to the Guardian, the UK is now the second biggest cluster of firms focusing on cell and gene therapies, after the US, with 60 such biotechs based there. Four such firms, it notes, are located at a government-funded center north of London, where three of the companies focus on cancer therapies and one on bleeding disorder treatments.

The CEO of one of those firms, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult's Keith Thompson tells the Guardian that treatments like the ones his company is working on have the could represent cures, rather than be drugs that only address the symptoms of disease. "We're trying to take the UK science into a new industry and not let it bleed offshore," he adds.

The Guardian notes that the field still has a number of challenges, including the treatments' high costs, and that only a few treatments are on the market.