New Lab Will Make Drug Discovery More Efficient, says Biofocus
The Contract Research Organisation (CRO), a subsidiary of the Galapagos Group, currently occupies four buildings at the Chesterford Research Park but announced today it has signed a pre-let agreement for a new laboratory facility which will bring its drug discovery groups together.
Dr. Chris Newton, Biofocus’ Managing Director, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com the firm’s current buildings are relatively elderly and the “question of efficiency” was the drive behind the move to the new facility.
A modern facility increases energy efficiency, he said, creating “added synergies and increased cost-savings which are very important for CROs.”
Furthermore, Newton continued: “Biofocus lays claims to self-sufficient drug discovery services across all therapeutic areas and if our scientists are very close together we are efficient. Discovering drugs is all about talking to each other and sharing ideas.”
Biofocus’s Cambridge site does not deal any UK clients, Newton said, but rather had a number of customers from the US, Europe and Japan.
Punting on the Cam
The facility is set to be up and running with operations transferred to the Park’s ‘Robinson Building’ within the next two years. Chesterford is currently home to both Pfizer and Illumina, amongst other pharma and life science companies.
“This is great news for Chesterford Research Park and also for the South Cambridge life sciences cluster,” said Martin Sylvester, from Churchmanor Estates, one of the joint developers at the site. “Aside from the AstraZeneca deal, this is the largest pre-let in the Cambridge area since 2011 and represents a very significant investment in the region’s economy.”
AstraZeneca announced in March it was building a £330m ($513m) facility in Cambridge, as a new strategic R&D centre and global headquarters. However, it also announced it would be ceasing its R&D operations at its lab in Cheshire and relocating staff to the new site where possible.