Spotlight on investment in Life Sciences, George Freeman, Minister for Life Sciences reports


Charnwood Campus are honoured to report that George Freeman, UK Minister for Life Sciences reported in his ‘Deal of the Month’ surrounding the expansion of The Almac Group to Charnwood Campus, which is expected to create 200 new jobs over the next 5 years.

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Deals between collaborating parties are the lifeblood of the Life Science sector. For many scientists, investors and companies, closing a deal is a major validation of a technology or innovation, and often an important milestone in the evolution of a research project or company. Deals also tell a story about what’s going on in the sector. In my role as Minister for Life Sciences, I’m lucky enough to see and hear about many deals and I’ve decided to launch a ‘Deal of the Month’ blog to highlight deals through the year which tell the story of the UK sector.

My first deal tells a story about the way in which the closure of ‘old’ pharma sites can be an opportunity for new investment and an opportunity for often state-of-the-art facilities invested in by big pharma to be repurposed to support existing or emerging companies. AstraZeneca’s old site at Charnwood has been empty for a few years and it is great to see the announcement by The Almac Group, a fast growing established UK business, of its decision to invest in medicine manufacturing there under the Almac Pharma Services division.

Cases such as this are why I’ve convened a pharma site conversion taskforce to look at what can be done to support the repurposing of old pharma sites.

· The Almac Group announced on 9 November a £16 million investment in Charnwood to expand their capacity in formulation and analytical development facilities, expected to create nearly 200 new jobs over the next 5 years (see full article here).

· Almac is a global contract development and manufacturing business that provides services to over 600 companies worldwide in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. The company is one of the UK life sciences sector’s big success stories, with over 4,000 employees in locations around the world.

· Almac is an excellent example of the strength of Northern Ireland’s life sciences sector, which consists of over 140 high tech companies, with exports worth over £1bn per annum. Through significant and sustained re-investment in the Almac Diagnostics and Discovery divisions, Almac has generated a substantial IP portfolio and led the way in growing Northern Ireland’s precision medicine capability, most recently recognised in the awarding of a Centre of Excellence to NI from the Precision Medicine Catapult.

· The Charnwood Campus is a world-class science, technology and enterprise park which has laboratories, specialist manufacturing facilities and immediately available accommodation and development land. The company has chosen Charnwood as it provides excellent state-of-the-art facilities plus access to a skilled scientific talent pool. This will enable Almac to commence operations for the manufacture of the next generation of medicines at Charnwood in early 2017 as well reducing the required cost levels by utilising the existing facility.

· I look forward to working with the company and have tasked the UK Trade & Investment Life Sciences Organisation (UKTI LSO) to work with the company on government support for future exports from Charnwood.

· In addition, the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership’s Business Gateway, the area’s Growth Hub, will continue to provide support to Almac to become established at Charnwood and for their plans for future growth in the area.

· Almac’s decision to invest in the Charnwood site further demonstrates the attractiveness of the UK as a location for investment and doing business in the life sciences sector. With such incentives as the lowest corporation tax in the G20, the Patent Box and R&D Tax credits, the UK is the leading European destination for foreign direct investment in Europe.

Full article link can be found here.

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