In 2021 to date we have seen a 46% rise in sales and marketing vacancies versus 2021. In March this year we saw a new record in volume of open roles in this segment of the UK life sciences market. With the MHRA replacing EMA as UK regulator, the UK was the first country to approve the Pfizer vaccine, demonstrating the speed and agility that UK clinical trials could move at through its domestic regulator.
The UK’s biotechnology sector is going through a purple patch, attracting almost £1.6 billion ($2.2 billion) in financing in the three months to end-May 2021 — a new record for the industry. Growth in marketing and sales roles within the biotech sector grew by 22% versus 2021. The new figures — from the BioIndustry Association and Clarivate — were dominated by more than £1 billion in venture capital funding for UK biotech and life sciences companies, headlined by DNA sequencing company Oxford Nanopore’s £195 million raise in May that was just shy of the £205 million record set by Immunocore in 2005. The scale of these financings suggests 2021 will be another record year of investment into UK biotech companies, with super-sized venture capital deals and Nasdaq listings dominating this quarter’s numbers. As a confluence of dynamics lead to a new marketing and sales systems with smaller, more agile, and smarter sales force, you would imagine the rise in vacancies would start to stall.
However, as the overall market develops, grows, and matures the rise in open vacancies continues to keep pace. The pharma industry is no longer being rewarded for incremental innovation, me-too products and selling the most pills. Companies need to demonstrate that their brand adds value to patients and will have to offer a package of products and health services that the market not only wants and needs but is willing to pay a premium for. In the backdrop of some exceptionally promising investment and growth within the UK life sciences sector, particularly within biotech, there are continuing, and emerging facts related to the need for biopharma to change its marketing and sales functions to sustain future growth and performance.
Much of this will be related to developing the future skills required. For all the strength in investment in the UK market, and the abundance of talent that is flowing from our colleges and universities, we still lack the dedicated training and development programs that will train future skills. The one thing that could make a major impact on the UK becoming a global centre of excellence in science, is a lack of accountability in early learning skills and development, something that requires action across not just how marketing and sales functions are developing and changing, but across pretty much every function in life sciences from clinical research to regulatory and medical affairs and beyond. With a requirement by 2030 for 133,000 new skilled workers, it is imperative that the industry wakes up and gets the great talent from this country trained.
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Yvette Cleland - CEO | Cpl UK