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New arrivals join BioHub at AZ's Alderley Park

Six new biopharma start-ups set up at the UK biocluster
BioHub Alderley Park

The Alderley Park site 

A new clutch of companies have taken space at the new biocluster at AstraZeneca's (AZ) Alderley Park site in the UK, taking the total number of firms at the site to nine.

Last year, the news that AZ was cutting 600 jobs and shifting R&D away from the Cheshire site was met with consternation by trade unions, already concerned about the closure of Pfizer's Sandwich campus and the downsizing of Novartis' research unit in Horsham.

AZ has tried to soften the blow by establishing a 36,000 sq. ft. BioHub at Alderley Park to draw in biopharma start-ups, with laboratory and office space as well as access to other facilities such as restaurants and conference rooms.

Six new companies - Gentronix, Cyprotex Discovery, Bionow, OncoTherics, Integral Finance and The Research Network - have now taken space at the BioHub, joining three others (RedX Anti-Infectives, Blueberry Therapeutics and Imagen Biotech) who have located there since the project was started in May.

The BioHub is being run by BioCity, an organisation which is also operating bioclusters in Nottingham, Cambridge and Scotland. The company's chief executive Glenn Crocker recently told PMLiVE that employment levels at clusters in time can often exceed the level seen when the sites were operated by a single company.

It is interesting that the new BioHub tenants include an early-stage investment firm and companies providing contract services, as a mix of different companies is thought to be a key factor in driving the success of a biocluster.

"Along with our existing tenants these companies add to the richness of the bioscience expertise located at Alderley Park," commented AZ's Clive Morris, who is co-chair of a taskforce set up to develop a sustainable future for the site.

The new firms "will play a role in securing longer term investment and employment opportunities," he added.

Article by
Phil Taylor

2nd October 2013

From: Research

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