UK's CPI opens doors for SMEs at new biologics manufacturing centre

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) opened the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre in Darlington, UK yesterday
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) opened the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre in Darlington, UK yesterday

Related tags National biologics manufacturing Innovation

The £38m ($58m) National Biologics Manufacturing Centre has opened its doors offering bioprocessing space to SMEs in the UK.

The site in Darlington was officially opened yesterday by the UK’s Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), providing companies without their own facilities space to trial processes and technologies for biologics manufacturing.

“You could be a company or a university that is looking to collaborate with CPI in response to an Innovate UK or Horizon 2020 call that is relevant to the biologics industry,”​ Marketing Executive Helen Briggs told

Innovate UK​ and Horizon 2020​ are scientific research and innovation programmes sponsored by the UK Government and the EU respectively.

“In addition you may want to access some of the expertise and cutting edge technologies that are located in the centre and these services are commercially available.”

Either way, there are 12 laboratories available on site which cover mammalian cell culture, microbial fermentation and upstream and downstream processing, as well as analytical testing, Briggs told us.

“[Already] we have four major collaborative R&D projects with 14 companies and three universities. We have capacity for further projects, and are actively working on securing new opportunities.”

Industry support

The centre is supported by an Industry Advisory Board (IAB) populated from senior individuals from Big Biopharma, and the major biomanufacturing technology providers.

“They have been advising and supporting us whilst the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre was being designed and built,”​ Briggs said.

Furthermore, CPI is “already collaborating with two of the major CMOs in the UK, one major Biopharma developer as well as several SMEs. In addition we have several projects in the pipeline that will bring in additional established companies.”

Tender does it

Equipment and services at the site were awarded by tender, examples of which - according to a cached copy of the currently unavailable​ public tender offering website – include:

A €278,000 contract awarded to Pall Corporation for the supply, installation and commissioning of laboratory equipment for measurement of protein-protein interactions

A €1.84m contract shared between Advanced Scientifics, GE Healthcare, GEA and Millipore UK for the supply, installation, commissioning and training of downstream equipment.

An undisclosed amount paid to Waters UK for the supply, installation and commissioning of a UPLC QTOF MS/MS system for biopharmaceutical characterisation.

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