A record number of leading international companies are investing in London’s life sciences sector, according to new figures from London & Partners, the Mayor’s promotional company for the capital

Fourteen major companies, including the USA’s Pfizer, Japan’s Takeda and India’s Cipla, generated a total of £24.35m for London’s economy in the 2014-15 financial year, creating a total of over 325 new jobs – more than three times as many as in 2013-14, which saw eight foreign companies create 101 new jobs in the sector.

The bulk of the growth is thanks to major expansion by Takeda, Asia’s largest pharmaceutical company and one of the world’s top 15, which doubled its presence in the capital last year.

The company has created 200 new jobs in Takeda Development Centre Europe, which was established in London in 2004 and now employs 400 people to lead and manage its Europe-wide drug development and clinical trials activities. It also has strong links to other areas of England, including Takeda Cambridge which is developing new therapies for areas of significant medical need including Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, diabetes, obesity and inflammatory diseases.

Other significant investment in London comes from five USA life sciences firms including Pfizer, which established a new Gene Therapy Unit focused on rare diseases in the capital at the end of 2014 and has ongoing research and development partnerships with leading universities including Imperial College London, University College London, King’s College London, Oxford and Cambridge.

India is also a growing presence on the London life sciences scene with new jobs created by Cipla, which in 2014 announced plans to invest up to £100m in the UK to fund the development of respiratory, cancer and antiretroviral medicines.

The drive to maximise the commercial potential of life sciences in London and the greater south east is being led by MedCity, launched in April 2014 by Mayor of London Boris Johnson to create jobs, attract investment, promote entrepreneurship and commercialise new therapies and medical technologies in the region.

Dr Eliot Forster, Executive Chair of MedCity, says:

“London and the greater south east is one of the world’s great centres for life sciences so it’s no surprise that the number of companies setting up or expanding here is increasing. We have a rich ecosystem that drives forward innovation and commercialisation, complemented by a strong financial sector, expert regulatory and professional services, world class science in our universities and research institutes and a highly skilled educated workforce.

“Each new company that sets up here reaps the benefit of that environment, but also enriches it further, creating a virtuous circle from which we all profit.”

Gordon Innes, Chief Executive, London & Partners, says: “Over the last decade foreign investment in London has gone through the roof. Companies from all over the globe want to establish a base here because we have the best access to finance and markets, an incredibly talented workforce and overall first-class conditions in which to do business.

“On top of this, London is one of the most desirable cities in the world to live with a vibrant cultural scene, exciting history and more green space than any other city in the world.”