National biopharma manufacturing centre planned in Darlington

biologics web The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), an independent industry advisory board, plans to open a new National Biologics Manufacturing Centre in Darlington.

The new centre will help biopharmaceutical companies of all sizes to develop, validate and commercialise new process technologies.

As part of the Government’s Strategy for Life Science, it will encourage the collaborative development of biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals in the UK.

The CPI chose Darlington as the location for the new centre based on its proximity to existing pharmaceutical companies, universities, transport links, and growth opportunities in the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone.

According to Dr Chris Dowle, the Director of the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre, “The new facility will support the development of new innovative process technologies and manufacturing routes. We will provide both large and small companies with open access facilities to prove and scale up their process, therefore reducing risk associated with product development.”

The CPI is the process industry element of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a network of seven technology and innovation centres aimed at stimulating growth within UK manufacturing.

The new site is intended to contribute to the development of biopharmaceuticals – currently 15% of the total pharmaceutical market – within the UK healthcare sector, including patient-specific targeted therapies.

The CPI is committed to the ‘open innovation’ model of collaborative R&D, providing assets and expertise to help companies get products and processes to market faster and with less risk.

Steve Bates, CEO of the BioIndustry Association, commented: “The National Biologics Manufacturing Centre will provide a valuable resource for the biologics manufacturing sector in the UK. The centre will help the UK capture more of the expanding global market in high-value, high-quality manufacture of biologic medicines.”