BioCity to develop BioHub at AstraZeneca's Alderley Park site
21 May 2013
BioCity Nottingham Ltd, the UK’s leading provider of life sciences business incubation services, has been appointed by AstraZeneca to establish a new centre for bioscience companies at Alderley Park in Cheshire.
The BioHub, will initially provide 36,000 sq ft of high-end laboratory and office facilities for early-stage and growing firms engaged in innovative drug discovery and development. Demand for accommodation is expected to be competitive with the first three tenant companies due to move on site today.
Alderley Park was AstraZeneca's largest R&D centre worldwide. In March this year the company announced that it would move its global R&D centre and corporate headquarters to Cambridge by 2016, relocating 1,600 jobs to Cambridge and leaving 700 non-R&D jobs at the site. It then set up a taskforce to plan the future of Alderley Park.
The BioCity management team has worked with colleagues at AstraZeneca since late 2012 to look into the feasibility of creating a specialist centre for the next generation of life science companies.
In addition to providing the BioHub laboratory and office accommodation, AstraZeneca is providing tenant firms access to restaurants, meeting rooms and conference facilities. Firms will also be able to rent highly specialised technical equipment and services. The first BioHub tenants to move on site include; Blueberry Therapeutics Ltd, Imagen Biotech Ltd and Redx Anti-Infectives Limited, a subsidiary of Redx Pharma. All three have strong ambitions for growth.
Dr Glenn Crocker, CEO of BioCity Nottingham Limited, has led the discussions with AstraZeneca: “We are delighted to have been chosen to advise and help establish the BioHub at Alderley Park. We bring many years of experience in developing thriving communities of successful life science companies and look forward to working closely with the AstraZeneca management team. I believe we now have a unique opportunity to build connections between tenant companies based at Alderley Park, Nottingham and Scotland which could ultimately transform the way life science innovation is achieved.”
Speaking on behalf of AstraZeneca, Clive Morris, AstraZeneca Vice President, Research & Development said, “We are delighted to welcome three innovation-driven companies to Alderley Park. I am confident that with BioCity’s experience in this area we can continue to seek further opportunities to attract future investment and build on the existing world class facilities available at Alderley Park.”
BioCity now has a presence in three of the main UK life science ‘hot-spots’ having established BioCity Nottingham in 2003 and BioCity Scotland in 2012. The company says that there is strong evidence to indicate that the clustering of life science businesses that BioCity engineers provides huge benefits to the companies and leads to greater success as well as opening up significant investment opportunities and adding value to the regional economy.