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Three high performing SME life sciences companies in the South East of England

By Stephen Emerson
16 March 2022

Life sciences in one of the fastest growing sectors of the UK with South East of England the top region for employment in the sector and home to Unicorns such as Oxford Nanopore, Immunocore and Oxford Biomedica.

The region is a hub of life sciences activity with over  70% of UK life sciences equity investment emanating from the region in Quarter 1 in  2021.

In this article we look at the privately-owned Small and Medium-sized Enterprises that are on the verge of becoming larger companies. The UK Government defines an SME as a company with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than 50 million euro.


Family-owned firm Actegy make healthcare products which help boost circulation and help customers breathe more easily. The Bracknell-based firm, which has around 44 employees, was launched in 2003 and operates under the Revitive brand name. Actegy was listed in The Business Magazine's Thames Valley 250 list in 2021, which ranks the region's privately-owned companies by revenue, at 170 with revenues of £24.3m (recorded in June 2018).


Oxford-based Exscientia attracted global attention when it signed a multi-billion collaboration with French pharmaceutical company Sanofi and is an example of the most innovate and best performing Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in the South East of England.

The Thames Valley headquartered company employs around 200 people at its offices in the UK, US, Austria and Japan and  specialises in using artificial intelligence (AI) to engineer medicines, automate drug design and is the first company to have an AI-designed molecule to reach clinical trials.

The South East of England company also ranked number one in The Business Magazine's Thames Valley SME 100 Growth Index 2021 with revenues of £9.1m (recorded in December 2019).


The Bracknell-based firm specialises in "next generation" clinical trials and focuses on recruitment, engagement, retention and trial outcomes.

mdgroup facilitate clinical trial participation for patients in their own homes, support them to travel safely to and from study sites and use technology to manage everything from expense reimbursements to telehealth.

The company, which has around 240 employees, recently signed a contract to provide services to Ergomed's Rare Disease Innovation Centre.

mdgroup was listed on The Business Magazine's Southern Tech 150 list at 98 with a turnover of £22.2m for the year ending March 2021.

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