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Tom Keighley

Member Article

New £38m National Biologics Centre for Darlington

Darlington is to host a new £38m National Biologics Manufacturing Centre as part of the Government’s drive to grow health industries.

The £38m investment through the Technology Strategy Board will be used to build a facility for the manufacture of biological medicines such as antibodies and vaccines.

It will be managed by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) as part of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult.

Darlington was chosen for its close proximity to existing manufacturing and universities; transport links with the rest of the UK and growth opportunities within the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone.

The aim is to encourage major pharmaceutical companies to manufacture biologics in the UK, and it is hoped the Centre will anchor a mobile life sciences industry in the UK.

An exact location for the Centre is yet to be determined, although BIS suggest a choice will be announced later this year.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “The new National Biologics Manufacturing Centre will significantly increase the UK’s manufacturing capability in biologics, keeping us ahead in the global race and strengthening the UK’s position as the location of choice for life sciences companies.”

Steve Bates, CEO of The BioIndustry Association, added: “The National Biologics Manufacturing Centre will provide a valuable resource for the biologics manufacturing sector in the UK. The centre will help the UK capture more of the expanding global market in high value, high quality manufacture of biologic medicines. It is another key piece in the jigsaw in developing a supportive ecosystem for the bioscience sector alongside successful measures such as the Biomedical Catalyst, Patent Box and the Cell Therapy Catapult.”

Biologics or Biopharmaceuticals are medicines manufactured using biotechnology. The products have biological foundations, usually involving live organisms such as cells, bacteria, yeast and others as tools to perform specific manufacturing processes.

Pharmaceuticals produced through biotechnology are delivering significant advances in healthcare and completely new medicines are being created, notably for rare or previously untreatable diseases.

The use of biotechnology is also revolutionising the research and development of new medicines allowing better product targeting and personalised treatments for specific diseases and patient groups.

The new centre, which forms part of CPI, will help companies of all sizes in the biologics market to develop, prove, demonstrate, scale up and ultimately commercialise new biologics process technologies.

Bill Dixon, Leader of Darlington City Council, said: “We are delighted that CPI has chosen Darlington to be the location of this new national centre. The location of the centre in North East England will attract further investment, talent and opportunities for the region to play a role in the development and commercialisation of pharmaceuticals into the global marketplace.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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