LabCorp to relocate and expand UK CMC business

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

iStock/AlexLMX
iStock/AlexLMX

Related tags: European union

LabCorp will relocate its UK CMC services unit to a larger site and has said it is confident the Government will maintain its commitment to the drug industry after Brexit.

This week LabCorp announced that BiopharmaCMC – the UK chemistry and manufacturing services unit operated by its Covance division – will move to a facility in York in leased space at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus (NAFIC).

Covance said the new facility - which is expected to be operational by the end of the year – will provide services for firms developing large-molecule (biologic) medicines, including antibodies, vaccines, biosimilars and cell-based and gene therapies.

A spokeswoman told us “We anticipate 20 to 30 people will be working from York at the end of 2017 with continued growth into 2018 and beyond​.”

Brexit

The UK is due to drop out of the European Union (EU) in 2019.

In March, Tory Prime Minister Teresa May chose to trigger​ Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on the back of the narrow 'leave' vote in the non-binding, advisory​ referendum last year.

What impact Brexit will have on UK laws and the economy will not be clear until the terms of the departure are negotiated, however, drug regulation is one of many areas likely to be affected.

Last week the European Commission confirmed​ the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will leave London, which is something the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) raised​ as a concern ahead of the referendum.

UK science commitment

Despite the uncertainty, Covance is confident the UK will still be a good place for a drug chemistry manufacturing and controls (CMC) services firm to be located after Brexit.

The spokeswoman told us the firm “has long established roots in the UK and the life-science industry remains an area of focus for Government​.”

She cited recent growth seen in BiopharmCMC business – currently based in Harrogate – for customers supplying both EU markets and the US as likely future drivers.

The spokeswoman also pointed out that: “The UK has reciprocal recognition agreements in place with the EU which are expected to minimize any impact from Brexit​.”

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