£20m Investment into ‘Biologics Factory of the Future’
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has announced an investment of £20m to create a ‘Biologics Factory of the Future’, £10m of which is awarded by Tees Valley Unlimited Local Enterprise Partnership, as part of Local Growth Fund and their Growth Deal. Due to open in 2017, the new facility will allow organisations to develop and test medicine manufacturing technologies that can be directly applied in the new and emerging stratified and personalised therapeutic supply chains.
Located at Central Park, Darlington, the new facility will locate and integrate alongside CPI’s £38m National Biologics Manufacturing Centre, which is currently under construction on the same site and due for completion in 2015.
The announcement comes as part of a £379m investment into the region from the Government’s flagship Local Growth Fund, which is designed to create jobs and ensure that every part of the country shares in economic growth. Speaking about the fund, Prime Minister David Cameron said, “This historic deal means real change for the North East, with plans to attract new business to the area, drive innovation and invest in key sectors such as advanced manufacturing”.
The £10m investment has been awarded by the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, who, alongside the UK government has identified personalised medicine as of strategic importance to the UK. The provision of medicines to patients is undergoing a radical change from “one size fits all” medicines to a personalised approach. This will have a significant impact on the established medicines supply chain, in that it is currently configured to deliver large batches of a single therapy to treat multiple patients with the same disease.
DNA sequencing technologies are facilitating a more thorough understanding of causative mechanisms of diseases, enabling the differentiation of single diseases into multiple subtypes on the basis of underlying genetic factors. It is intended that CPI will enable the development of the process technologies and facility designs to deliver personalised medicines. It will achieve this through integration and simplification of process technologies to enable production at a much smaller scale and with rapid change over between products.
Pharmaceuticals produced through biotechnology are delivering significant advances in healthcare. The use of biotechnology is revolutionising the research and development of new medicines allowing better product targeting and personalised treatments for specific diseases and patient groups.
Biological medicines already account for around 10 – 15% of the current pharmaceutical market and the sector is outperforming the market as a whole. Significantly, more than one-fifth of new medicines launched on the world market each year are now biotechnology-derived. This will likely grow with the scientific advances currently underway; and the application of biotechnology in healthcare is leading to an increasing number of innovative products.
Nigel Perry, CEO of CPI said “The new facility 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”.
Chris Dowle, Director of Biologics at CPI said “Any new industry changes rapidly in the early stages of its growth. If the UK is to lead and exploit the significant advances from the investment in biologics research made already, it will need to continue to develop its manufacturing processes. This will create value and bring long term benefits to the Tees Valley through creating high value manufacturing jobs in a high growth industry”.
Stephen Catchpole of Tees Valley Unlimited said “This is an important and exciting announcement for Tees Valley as it further strengthens the area’s position at the forefront and cutting edge of the biomedical industry. It will complement and enhance the neighbouring National Biologics Manufacturing Centre and reaffirms how attractive our Enterprise Zone is to globally significant schemes.”
CPI is the process industry element of the UK government’s national manufacturing strategy – The High Value Manufacturing Catapult. A network of seven technology and innovation centres tasked with stimulating growth within key manufacturing sectors throughout the UK.