Stevenage, 18th May, 2023 – Kadans Science Partner (Kadans), the European leader in developing science and technology real estate, has announced the launch of Sycamore House, a new laboratory and office facility for innovative, high-growth life science companies and Kadans’ first completed development in the UK. By adding Sycamore House to the portfolio, Kadans is furthering its goal to create one strong knowledge-sharing ecosystem of science parks across Europe. Their portfolio now comprises over 45 buildings and numerous projects under development in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany and Spain.
The official opening of Sycamore House took place on 18 May, 2023 and was attended by over 100 life science leaders. Steve Bates OBE, CEO of UK BioIndustry Association was the master of ceremonies for the evening and Rob Shaw, Chief of Staff at Innovate UK provided the keynote address. Leaders from supporting partners Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult also featured in the programme.
James Sheppard, Managing Director of Kadans Science Partner, said: "Our investment in Sycamore House is testament to Stevenage’s position as a cluster of excellence and we’re excited to become part of this growing ecosystem. This facility provides much needed grow on space for cutting edge life science companies.”
Kadans has provided £25 million of investment into the redevelopment of this building since 2020. Sycamore House is now a two-storey space offering 103,000 sq. ft. of office and lab space to start-ups, scale-ups and corporate companies in the UK life science industry, alongside European companies in the same industry looking to relocate.
The new-build development has been designed by a specialist professional team as well as Kadans’ in house development team. The 1980s storage facility has been completely transformed into a flexible building, with tailor-made offices and laboratories. It plays host to a communal area with meeting rooms, seating and waiting areas. A reception area, cafe and break out spaces can also be found. These spaces are aimed specifically at bioscience occupiers. The new building is suitable for a large variety of tenants in terms of size and maturity. Available spaces will vary from 100 to 2,000 sq. m. Current tenants include Achilles Therapeutics, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, Charles River Laboratories, Cytiva, Freeline Therapeutics, GSK and Rentschler Biopharma.
Sycamore House is home to the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult)’s Skills and Training Laboratories, part funded by a £3m Getting Building Fund investment from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Supporting the national drive for skills development in cell and gene therapies, the laboratories provide a critical training capability, helping develop Hertfordshire’s talent pipeline to meet local demand and giving early-stage businesses access to state-of-the-art equipment and training facilities.
It also houses CGT Catapult’s new process analytical technologies laboratory. This has been specifically designed and equipped to allow cell and gene therapy developers to monitor and control their advanced therapy manufacturing processes in real-time, to improve product quality and safety while increasing production levels. The labs are open for business and were showcased during the launch event.
Kadans’ investment in Sycamore House builds upon the area’s position as one of Europe’s largest cell and gene therapy clusters, accelerating the translation and scale up of advanced therapies to improve the health and quality of people’s lives.
The Stevenage cell and gene therapy cluster has rapidly evolved through the shared vision of the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), CGT Catapult and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership; and backed by over £100 million in Government investment. Since 2012, companies based at the nearby Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst have raised £2.9 billion of investment, 70% of this in cell and gene therapy, making the cell and gene therapy cluster centred on Stevenage one of Europe's largest.