Following the financial shake-out, AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) has become the UK’s largest company, underlining the importance to the economy of the healthcare industry.

However, the last available data from the Food & Drug Administration reveal a majority of new medicines that came through the approval process originated from the labs of some world’s smaller R&D firms.

“That’s because Big Pharma needs to meet the demand for new medicines by supplementing their own pipelines with ideas and products from smaller, innovative biotech companies,” said Jonathan Tobin, managing director of London-listed venture capital firm Arix Bioscience PLC (LON:ARIX).

Christian Schetter, the firm’s entrepreneur in residence, added: “Biotech is at an inflection point. We’re seeing potential become reality at ever greater speed, as innovative scientific discoveries are rapidly being translated into medicines that have the potential to transform lives.”

Arix is a backer of innovative smaller life sciences companies developing potentially breakthrough new medicines.

Tobin and Schetter’s comments formed part of a wide-ranging Q&A that can be accessed by clicking here.