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Britain’s fastest-growing privately-owned pharma companies revealed

The Alantra Pharma Fast 50 Index reveals 50 British companies delivering double-digit sales growth despite the threat of Brexit and other challenges


Britain’s 50 fastest-growing privately-owned pharmaceutical companies have all increased sales by at least 10 per cent in each of their last two financial years, new research reveals, facing down headwinds such as Brexit and NHS spending pressures to deliver outstanding performance.


This year’s Alantra Pharma Fast 50, an annual index of the pharmaceutical sector’s most dynamic companies, also reveals that the fastest-growing business in the industry, Qualasept Pharmaxo Holdings, achieved annualised sales growth of 77 per cent over its last two financial years.


“These companies have achieved remarkable rates of growth despite Brexit now looming large for the UK’s pharmaceutical industry, causing many businesses considerable uncertainty in areas ranging from supply chain management to staff recruitment and retention,” said Tom Cowap, a Director in Alantra’s UK advisory business who specialises in the pharmaceuticals sector.


Cowap added: “The Alantra Pharma Fast 50 illustrates the strength and depth of the UK’s thriving pharmaceutical sector, with our smaller and privately-owned businesses often leading their markets and competing globally. These businesses have been able to combine their specialist expertise and experience with an agile entrepreneurial culture to drive growth.”


This year’s Alantra Pharma Fast 50 Index, the third annual ranking compiled, divides the UK’s pharmaceuticals industry into four segments, identifying key themes in each part of the sector that are now driving growth. These include:


  • Consolidation in consulting: Fast-growing demand for consultancy services that can help pharma companies to develop and articulate the business case for their products is powering a wave of consolidation and investment in this part of the market, particularly amongst firms specialising in medical communications. This year’s fastest-growing consultant, Prime Global, has achieved annualised growth of 49 per cent over its past two financial years.


  • Continued growth from outsourcing: The best CROs and CMOs continue to win new business from a global customer base ranging from the world’s largest pharma companies to small biotechs, including the new breed of “virtual” firms; Britain’s best CROs and CMOs are winning back contracts awarded to low-cost emerging markets operators, and even securing contacts from outsourcers in these countries. This segment of the market includes the index’s fastest-growing company of all in Qualasept Pharmaxo Holdings, as well as the second-placed entrant Clintec International, whose revenues have grown at an annualised rate of 55 per cent. This growth has not gone unnoticed, with IQVIA acquiring Clintec after this year’s listing was compiled.


  • New value in the develop, wholesale and supply segment: The fastest-growing businesses in this part of the market have identified new products and services that deliver greater value to customers in both traditional and emerging markets. Aspire Pharmaceuticals has delivered annualised sales growth of 51 per cent over its past two financial years.


  • Agility from pharmacy chains: Successful pharmacy chains are adjusting their business models and focusing on customer service to deliver strong growth despite tough funding pressures. PCT Healthcare, the leading pharmacy chain in the ranking, has achieved annualised revenue growth of 40 per cent over the past two years.

The Alantra Pharma Fast 50 ranks the UK’s fastest-growing, privately-owned pharmaceutical businesses on the basis of the revenue growth they have achieved over the past two years, according to their most recently published accounts. As such, it provides a unique snapshot of the health of the sector beyond its publicly-listed pharma companies.


Alantra’s Tom Cowap added: “These businesses are ambitious, innovative and inspiring – the results they have achieved reflect a combination of hard work, passion and unrivalled expertise and should be measured not only in financial terms; ultimately these remarkable businesses are driving better patient outcomes that will benefit us all.”

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Last Updated: 04-Mar-2019