Construction to begin on UK Gov funded bio centre in April

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Construction to begin on UK Gov funded bio centre in April
The contract to design and build the UK’s £38m ($63m) National Biologics Manufacturing Centre (NBMC) has been awarded to Interserve.

Expected to be completed in March 2015 and located in Darlington, the NBMC will help biopharma firms cut costs in the development of novel drugs and gain access to biomanufacturing capabilities and is being managed by the UK’s Centre for Process Innovation (CPI).

UK-based Interserve Construction won the contract to build the 5000m2 Centre, with the £38m of Government funding also being used for equipment, establishing the team and forging partnerships with other UK centres of excellence, CPI’s Director of the NBMC, Dr. Chris Dowle, told Biopharma-Reporter.com.

He also told us the CPI anticipates small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will work directly with the Centre, as well as forming pre-competitive collaborative programmes in order to boost the UK biopharma industry and increase the manufacturing capability.

He said: “The strategic direction for the centre includes activities involving technology development for new and novel processes and products, fill finish and formulation, novel equipment development and demonstration, training and workforce development, supply chain growth and partnering, analytics, and challenging facility design regarding the changing demands of e.g. personalised medicines.”

Furthermore: “CPI has historically seen the majority of its business with SME’s and this is likely to continue offering access to assets, skilled people and wider business support. Early projects are already being carried out in existing clean room assets at Wilton,”​ he told us.

Last month, Jonathan Robinson, who is leading the development of the NBMC​, spoke to Biopharma-Reporter.com to discuss the challenges that still need to be overcome in creating the next-generation of biopharmaceuticals.

One area where the new Centre would help was by concentrating on downstream technologies where he said​ that unlike innovations in upstream, “very little has changed in the format of the technology used.”

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