Medilink NOE News Summer 2020 Summer 2020 - Page 8
REGIONAL GROWTH FUND:
This year marks a
decade since the UK
£7.36m of its Regional
Growth Fund (RGF)
now better known as
established a publicprivate
(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
Avacta Group plc,
o fA f fi m e r
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
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
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
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
AVACTA GIVES HOPE FOR POTENTIAL COVID-19 THERAPY
binding but efficiently prevent a SARS-
COV-2 model virus from entering human
“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
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
Strong academic research is also crucial to the sector’s success.
The N8 Research Partnership is a collaboration of the North’s
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While life science sector organisations across the North such
as Medilink, Medipex, Bionow and the Northern Health Science
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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
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:
NORTH OF ENGLAND: MDR
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EU MEDICAL DEVICE REGULATION
The EU Medical Device Regulation will come into force on the 26th May 2021, raising
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manufacturers will need to identify and address any potential issues to avoid nonconformities.
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