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Top UK Biotech Companies - Career opportunities
Best Biotech/Life Science Companies to work for (UK)

There are many large and smaller Biotech/Life Science companies based in the UK who offer opportunities to develop a rewarding career. According to the University of Oxford career service: “There are over 900 pharmaceutically related biotech companies in the UK which employ nearly 26,000 people, although the majority of them have fewer than 50 employees. Many of the UK’s biotech companies originate from universities as ‘spin-outs’ and are located around Oxford, Cambridge and in Scotland.” Below I summarise a few of the available options. I include useful links for those who would like to seek more detailed information. In all cases, qualifications and application processes will vary depending on the company and the specific position. Full instructions and information can be found on the company websites.

Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK)
GSK, whose focus is on small Molecules, vaccines and biologics, have a range of opportunities from internships, graduate positions or next career moves for experienced professionals. Their headquarters are in London, but have other UK bases for example in Hounslow and Irvine, and they employ over 99,000 people in 150 countries. Detailed information about all aspects on GSK operations and products can be found on their website: They run programmes including the Future Leaders Programme for graduates which requires for you to be on track for a 2.1 degree or have achieved this already. Recruitment takes place annually from September onwards.
To find out about current career opportunities with GSK in the UK follow this link:
Astra Zeneca
Astra Zeneca, whose focus is on small molecules and biologics, have their main campus in the UK in Cambridge but they also have operations in, for example, London, Edinburgh and Macclesfield. According to their website they currently have 73 positions available in the UK, including for example Senior Principle Scientist in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Cambridge), Team Manager (CPUT team) in Chemical Development (Macclesfield) or VP Regulatory RIA (Cambridge). Qualifications needed vary depending on the position being applied for.
To find out about current career opportunities with Astra Zeneca in the UK follow this link:
Astra Zeneca is only one of many options in Cambridge. The city is also home to many smaller “spin-out” Biotech/Life sciences companies, as well as larger multinationals and is at the centre of the Cambridge Biotechnology Cluster. An example of a smaller Cambridge-based company is F-Star, which focuses on novel bispecific antibodies and was named a by FierceBiotech as one of the Fierce 15 winners in 2011 (
For more information on the Cambridge Biotechnology Cluster and the opportunities it offers, as well as other clusters centred on London, Oxford and Stevenage, visit the Lifestream website:
SAFC (Sigma Aldrich)
SAFC, whose focus is on chemicals, services and APIs, is the custom manufacturing and services business unit of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation. It is a top 10 global specialty chemicals and biologics supplier. Full details of their UK operations can be found here:  They have various operations including in Irvine and Manchester. They claim to offer “challenging and rewarding positions across the life science and high technology industry”. To begin the process of applying for opportunities in this company follow this link to the online expression of interest/application forms: Some examples of the types of positions available in the UK can be viewed by following this link:
Abbvie, whose focus is on diagnostics and devices, is a global biopharmaceutical company with a UK operation in Maidenhead. Full details of their UK operations can be found at:
To find out about current career opportunities with Abbvie in the UK follow this link:

Axis Shield
Axis Shield, whose focus is on in vitro diagnostic tests, is located in Dundee in Scotland. They are an expanding company and recommend contacting their HR department for further information on career opportunities; email A full description of their operations and products can be found on their website:
Axis Shield are one of a range of companies with career opportunities based in Dundee, that also include for example CXR Biosciences and Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals

Prosonix is based in Oxford and is an innovative speciality pharmaceutical company developing a portfolio of inhaled respiratory medicines by design. Full details of their operations and products can be found at:
To find out more about a career at Prosonix, follow this link and you will find relevant contact details:
Useful links
The UK Biotech database is a portal that provides information and statistics about Biotech, Pharma and Medtech companies in the UK. It can be accessed by following this link:
The Lifestream website life sciences recruitment website gives details on the Biotechology Clusters in the UK and details on available opportunities:
The following link gives a very comprehensive list of many Biotech/Life Sciences companies throughout the UK, with summaries of the areas of main interest and links to their websites:
The career advice sections of UK university websites are also very useful sources of information, for example the University of Oxford Careers Service has a useful section on pharmaceuticals and biotechnology that can be found here:
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Top Biotech companies in UK

GlaxoSmithKline: GSK is a leading biotech company that aims in developing treatments for wide range of diseases, production of vaccines, consumer deliverables including oral healthcare, nutritional products, range of skin care products. 
Location: Beckenham, UK; Angus, UK
Business type: Small molecules, biologics, vaccines

Actavis: Actavis is a unique specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing high quality affordable generic pharmaceuticals and develops innovative medicines for patients suffering from diseases principally in the central nervous system, gastroenterology, women’s health, urology, cardiovascular, respiratory and anti-infective therapeutic categories.
Location: Barnstaple, UK
Business type: Generic Small Molecules

Astra Zeneca: Astra Zeneca primarily focuses on biologics and small molecules. Scientists and researchers work directly with world’s leading scientists, to globally develop several life saving drugs.
Location:  Cambridge, London, Macclesfield, Edinburgh
Business type: Small Molecules, Biologics

Immunocore: This is a biotech company that discovers novel biotherapeutics known as ImmTACs for the treatment of cancer and a wide array of other severe diseases. Its leading T Cell Receptor (TCR) technology develops the power of the own immune system of the body to locate and destroy diseased cells. Immunocore has highly experienced scientific team that has effectively developed immunotherapies for treating cancer and other serious ailments.
Location: Abingdon, UK
Business type: T cell receptor fragment

Roche: Roche is known for its pharmaceutical medicines for 120 years. It is one of the largest biotech companies in UK and a leader in personalized healthcare. The company is a leading provider of in vitro diagnostics and cancer treatment.
Location: Burgess Hill, UK
Business type: Diagnostics

Pfizer: This is one of the world’s leading healthcare companies that include vaccines and medicines and many other consumer healthcare products that challenges the most serious diseases across a wide array of therapeutic areas such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Location: Havant, UK
Business type: packaging and distribution of cold chain and parenteral products

Sigma Aldrich: SAFC is one of the leading chemicals and biologics supplier worldwide.It is an absolute associate for biopharmaceutical companies manufacturing and commercializing complex biologics and small-molecule APIs. 
Location: Gillingham, UK
Business type: Chemicals, APIs

Abbvie: The company aims in developing new drugs that focuses on core therapeutic areas that include neuroscience , immunology,  liver and kidney disease, women’s health, oncology.
Location: Maidenhead, UK
Business type: Diagnostics, Devices

Genzyme (Sanofi): Genzyme is committed to discovering and delivering transformative therapies for patients with rare and special unmet medical needs. Strong research programs are conducted in the medical areas that iincludes rare diseases and neuroimmunological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, renal diseases, orthopedics.
Location: Oxford, UK
Business type: Small molecules

Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals: A biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing oral treatment that target control of  various phases of cell cycle for treating cancer and other severe diseases.
Location: Dundee, UK
Business type: Small molecules, biologics
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Hello, I wanted some info on a company it's called "biotech life sciences" it sells NMN and NAD+ but I can't find any info about them on their website or even on whois Thank you
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hi, i have done my in biotechnology and doing Quality Assurance professional certification.
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