Vaccitech to scale up operations with new facility

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Vaccitech Uk

Vaccitech has signed a lease for 31,000 sq. ft at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in the UK, fitting out the facility with a state-of-the art wet laboratory and offices.

The company, best known for co-inventing the ChAdOx1 COVID-19 vaccine with the University of Oxford (now licenced to AstraZeneca), will relocate its headquarters to the site in spring 2022.

Vaccitech’s new facility will take over half of the newly constructed Zeus building at the campus, which is located just out of Oxford.

Accommodating a growing team

Vaccitech is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel immunotherapeutics and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases and cancer. It has a pipeline of both clinical and preclinical stage therapeutic programs in solid tumors and viral infections and prophylactic viral vaccine programs. 

Its proprietary platform comprises modified simian adenoviral vectors, known as ChAdOx1 and ChAdOx2, as well as the Modified Vaccinia Ankara, or MVA, boost vector, both with demonstrable tolerability profiles and without the ability to replicate in humans. 

Vaccitech’s chief operating officer, Chris Ellis, said, “Vaccitech has a broad pipeline of programs in clinical trials and manufacturing for a biotechnology company of its size.

"This reflects the ambition, passion and drive that is felt right across the company and its investors as we strive to bring new immunotherapeutics and vaccines to the world.

"The need for new space designed primarily for state-of-the-art wet laboratory and offices, to house our growing team was our first priority, and staying within the Oxfordshire infrastructure, drove our decision to relocate to the Zeus building at Harwell Campus.”

Harwell Health Cluster

Harwell Campus accommodates companies across life sciences, space, clean and green energy, big data and sustainability. Around 6,000 people are employed across more than 200 public, private and academic organisations.

It plans to ultimately grow to five million square feet: with one and a half million square feet to be developed by the mid-2020s. In 2020, Toronto-headquartered Brookfield Asset Management secured a 50% share in the campus.

Vaccitech is the latest company to join Harwell’s Health Cluster: which is already home to the Rosalind Franklin Institute; advanced diagnostic organisations like Oxford Nanopore (whose sequencing technology has been used to track the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in more than 85 countries); and the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre which, when fully operational will further boost the UK’s global vaccine manufacturing capability. 

The health cluster has trebled in size over the last five years, creating more than 700 new jobs and in June this year, the government committed a further £4m ($5.5m USD) of funding, to improve Europe’s largest collection of open access scientific facilities at Harwell.

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