Medilink NOE News Summer 2020 Summer 2020 - Page 8

REGIONAL GROWTH FUND: SCI-TECH DARESBURY This year marks a decade since the UK Government invested £7.36m of its Regional Growth Fund (RGF) into Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus, now better known as Sci-Tech Daresbury. The announcement established a publicprivate joint venture (JV) comprising the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Halton Borough Council, the North West Development Agency (now defunct) and property developer, Langtree. The JV was tasked with bringing up to 15,000 knowledge based jobs to the area and attracting domestic and international investment in scientific research and innovation. Ten years on since the cash injection in Sci-Tech Daresbury, the campus has supercharged its growth and had significant impact. In a bid to make the campus’ location more attractive, £350,000 was put towards improving transport connections, enhancing public transport looks and improving accessibility. Around £1.66m was spent on environmental improvement works which saw the creation of the linear park, a communal space aimed at fostering collaboration on campus. Finally, £830,000 was earmarked to develop a new multi-million pound laboratory and office building. Techspace One opened in 2017 and comprises high quality laboratories and grade A office accommodation. The building is home to growing businesses such as Perfectus Biomed and X-Cellr8, as well as international corporates such as Hitachi High-Tech Europe. Centres of innovation such as Sci-Tech Daresbury are critical for regional growth, rebalancing the UK’s economy and driving forward the Northern Powerhouse vision. “Science and technology continues to accelerate growth and create high value jobs that fuel international collaboration and investment. Avacta Group plc, the developer o fA f fi m e r biotherapeutics and reagents, has recently generated multiple Affimer reagents that bind the SARS-COV-2 viral antigen as part of its collaboration with Cytiva, in order to develop a rapid test for COVID-19. The company has now successfully finished the initial phase in partnership with the Centre for Virus Research at the University of Glasgow which has shown that Affimer reagents binding to the SARS-COV-2 virus spike protein prevents infection of human cells by a SARS-COV-2 model virus, providing a potential therapy for COVID-19 infection. Affimer reagents have key benefits compared with antibodies as virus neutralising therapies. Their small size and high solubility mean that a much higher concentration of Affimer molecules can be used in the drug formulation to block the spike proteins more effectively on each virus particle and protect the patient better. Dr Alastair Smith, CEO of Avacta Group, said: “I am delighted that our collaborators at the University of Glasgow have confirmed that these Affimer reagents not only block the spike-ACE2 Overseas investment has been significant towards Sci-Tech Daresbury’s growth. The campus welcomed 27 tenants last year, including eight foreign companies, boosting total occupancy to 150 businesses. John Downes, group chief executive Langtree and chair of the JV, said: What differentiates us is the marriage of an open collaborative culture and leading industry expertise with world-class technical facilities of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory including the UK’s largest super computer, creating exceptional capabilities which businesses are able to tap into to maximise growth, often with potentially world-changing results. “We are already in the planning stage of the next expansion phase to ensure we are future-proofing the site to meet companies’ growth needs.” This next phase of expansion, known as Project Violet, will see the construction of a 42,000 sq. ft grade A office complex, with construction work planned to start on site later this year. Notes to Editors: Sci-Tech Daresbury is a world class location for high-tech business and leading-edge science based in the Liverpool City Region. It provides a unique environment for innovation and business growth, with knowledge sharing, collaboration and networking Home to the ground-breaking STFC Daresbury Laboratory as well as 150 high-tech companies, the site was originally established in 2006. In December 2010 a new private-public joint-venture partnership was created to spearhead the longer-term development of the campus. Partners in the private-public joint-venture partnership are developers, Langtree, Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and Halton Borough Council. The campus was granted Enterprise Zone status in April 2012. Enterprise Zone status allows business rates to be reinvested in the campus, potentially creating up to 15,000 skilled jobs and providing funding for new specialist office, laboratory and technical space. Enterprise Zone status will also allow the campus to leverage more than £150 million in private sector investment. AVACTA GIVES HOPE FOR POTENTIAL COVID-19 THERAPY binding but efficiently prevent a SARS- COV-2 model virus from entering human cells. “We continue to make very good progress across all of our COVID-19 related programmes, as well as our other diagnostic and therapeutic activities, and I look forward to providing further updates in the very near future.” The work is continuing with Professor David Bhella at the University of Glasgow to further study the way in which the Affimer reagents prevent infection and Avacta is using this growing body of data actively to secure a large pharmaceutical partner to develop these potential therapeutic candidates rapidly. A THRIVING LIFE SCIENCES POWERHOUSE – GLOBAL LEADERSHIP IN THE NORTH DR KATH MACKAY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, BRUNTWOOD SCITECH – ALDERLEY PARK Together the North of England’s cities form a ‘super’ economy of almost £350 billion, similar in size to London. However, making more of the Northern Powerhouse’s potential has been long identified as a key piece of the regeneration jigsaw in post-Industrial Britain. The life sciences sector is already a fundamental part of the region’s economic mix and will be a significant source of its future growth too. In 2018, the North’s life science industry grew by £4.4 billion - 48% more than the previous year, signifying a growth rate 4.8% higher than the national average. The foundations for unlocking its future potential are already firmly in place. Sector-specialist clusters foster collaboration rather than competition driving the growth of the entire UK life science sector. From strengths in medtech, genomics and health innovation in Manchester, to pharma, drug discovery and anti-microbial resistance in Cheshire’s science corridor through to hubs for ageing and dementia in Newcastle and infectious disease research in Liverpool, the North is home to over 800 life science businesses. Strong academic research is also crucial to the sector’s success. The N8 Research Partnership is a collaboration of the North’s Medilink is proud to launch an MDR Gap Analysis service designed to identify issues and put in place a plan for remediation before your audit takes place. From £950 + VAT. eight most research intensive universities that help to establish innovative research capability and drive economic growth through collaboration with business and society. While life science sector organisations across the North such as Medilink, Medipex, Bionow and the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) help to bring companies and academia together to further aid collaboration. Though, the North’s life sciences sector is a key part of the region’s success and future prosperity, it’s worth remembering that a rising tide lifts all boats. It is to the benefit of the UK as a whole that this part of the country continues to attract interest and investment. It’s easy to overlook this but, in global terms, the UK is a small country, with distances between the respective science clusters insignificant compared to, say, the US or China. To global investors, for whom a couple of hundred miles is nothing, it doesn’t make sense to just look at the traditional ‘golden triangle’ of Oxford, Cambridge and London. This makes the established heritage and exciting future of the Northern Powerhouse’s life sciences clusters an essential part of the UK’s global narrative. For more information visit: www.sci-techdaresbury.com/ MEDILINK REGULATORY NORTH OF ENGLAND: MDR GAP ANALYSIS SERVICE EU MEDICAL DEVICE REGULATION The EU Medical Device Regulation will come into force on the 26th May 2021, raising the bar for compliance in a number of areas. With the first audits approaching, manufacturers will need to identify and address any potential issues to avoid nonconformities. DO YOU HAVE WORK TO DO ON YOUR TECHNICAL FILES BUT AREN’T SURE WHERE TO START? HAVE YOU IDENTIFIED AREAS OF CONCERN BUT DON’T HAVE THE CAPABILITY OR RESOURCES TO TACKLE THEM? Upon completion, Medilink will utilise internal expertise and that of our network of approved Medilink Regulatory Associates to provide solutions to your problems via follow up contracts, if required. For more information or to discuss your regulatory requirements, contact Medilink Regulatory North of England on 0114 232 9282 or email regulatory@medilink.co.uk 14 15