UK boost to biomanufacturing

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical industry, Biotechnology, Uk

SR Pharma, specializing in RNAi therapeutics, will be the first
company to use the new UK National Biomanufacturing Centre (NBC),
operated by contract manufacturing organization (CMO) Eden
Biodesign, when it opens on schedule early next year.

The NBC, a project aimed at helping biotechnology start-ups get their product ideas into clinical trials, will boost not only the UK but also the wider European biotechnology sector, which shrank for the first time in 2003 after years of growth.

The £34.25m (€49.5m) NBC, based in Liverpool, is a Government-funded initiative, set up to support the UK's biotechnology industry by providing high-quality process development and contract manufacturing.

The centre will provide the expertise and facilities to support new and existing biotechnology companies, offering product development services designed to fill in the skill and resource gaps that exist within these organisations.

It will also provide training in biomanufacturing and analytical sciences, delivering the skilled workforce required to expand the UK biopharmaceutical sector.

There is also an access fund of £3 million, which is available to qualifying small to medium companies and academic groups in the biotechnology sector to assist them in purchasing development and clinical manufacturing services from the centre.

This will help smaller companies with a good product idea, but without the funds to pay a contract manufacturer, to make enough of the compound to take it into clinical trials.

While only UK companies can qualify for help via the fund, the services of the NBC will be open to companies around the world, particularly as the current stable of UK biotech firms are probably insufficient to keep the centre operating at capacity for the next three years.

Under the first agreement with >SR Pharma,>Eden Biodesign​ will provide consultancy services, including strategic development guidance and international regulatory affairs advice, followed by laboratory based biomanufacturing process development and manufacturing.

"With inclusion of a significant element of strategic clinical development consultancy, this agreement demonstrates that Eden Biodesign is more than simply a CMO,"​ said Crawford Brown, CEO of Eden Biodesign.

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