Stevenage’s position as a globally leading specialist cluster in cell and gene therapy has been consolidated in a new life sciences report.
The EMEA Life Sciences Cluster Outlook 2023 identifies Stevenage as a renowned hub for life sciences activity, on a par with other established European clusters with a world-leading specialism.
Despite market challenges, the report says growth in the sector has continued. The first report in the series, conducted by JLL research, focuses on lab and office space, looking at key investor and occupier trends that are shaping the European life sciences industry and identifying key market clusters.
The report classifies Stevenage as a “cluster specialist – with a unique research specialism driving the cluster. For example, with Stevenage’s specialism in cell and gene therapy”.
The campus at Gunnels Wood Road hosts one of GSK’s two main global research and development facilities, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Centre and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, a leading UK location for start-ups and established companies to develop and commercialise cutting edge therapeutics.
Plans were submitted to Stevenage Borough Council last week (17 April) to expand the campus into one of the largest life science parks in Europe thanks to a joint venture between UBS Asset Management and Reef Group. The development will bring forward up to £900 million investment on 33 acres of vacant land next to the Catalyst to create an estimated 1.6 million sq. ft of laboratory and office facilities and up to 5,000 highly skilled new jobs.
Opposite the campus, Kadans Science Partner has invested £25m into Sycamore House to provide lab and office spaces with an official launch date of 18 May. Autolus is establishing its HQ and advanced manufacturing facility, comprising 530,000 sq. ft of development, which will serve the USA, UK and European markets at Marshgate in the town centre.
Together this will provide much needed high quality and sustainable growing on space in a well-connected location less than 30 minutes by train to the Knowledge Quarter in King’s Cross, home to global brands, such as Google’s UK HQ, and renowned medical research institutions Francis Crick Institute, Wellcome Trust and Catapult Digital.
Stevenage is located at the heart of the Golden Research Triangle with proximity to advanced life sciences clusters in Oxford, London and Cambridge. In addition to location, the report also identifies the key elements required to create a successful life sciences cluster such as Stevenage – a vibrant ecosystem; access to talent, funding and commercial real estate.
Strong capital investments together with advancements in medical technologies and new innovations has, the report states, driven the industry forward over recent years. On Monday (24 April), the Government announced it is to set up a £100m taskforce to help build up British capabilities in artificial intelligence. This could have far-reaching implications for the future of healthcare by creating greater efficiencies in research and development and potentially speeding up diagnoses and drug discovery.
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst held an event in Shoreditch last week (20 April) aimed at tech-bio and therapeutics start-ups to explore this convergence. The Catalyst organises a Catalyser programme together with Triple Chasm and Mindstream AI, to help start-ups in these fields refine their commercialization strategy. The programme is open to companies planning to create their first commercially viable product which either have or are planning to integrate digital and data technologies (i.e. ML/AI) in their R&D workflow.
Marco Delise, PhD, Entrepreneurship & Business Development Director, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, said: “The BioTech event brought together expertise from across biotech and big data to help drive innovation and help tackle the challenges faced by fledging companies in translating ideas into commercial, social and environmental impact.”
The next SBC Catalyser Programme will start on 23 May and is open to up to 10 start-ups at zero cost. For more information on future programmes, contact Marco Delise.
Dr Sally Ann Forsyth OBE, CEO, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, will be discussing the importance of location to business success at Bio Integrates 2023 on 16 May. Click here for more information and to register.