A new biotechnology incubator is coming up on AstraZeneca's site in Alderley Park, Cheshire, UK, with the first three companies having already moved in. More are expected to follow and fill the space left by AZ as it relocates to Cambridge, UK.
The BioHub would be managed by BioCity, which also runs similar incubators in Nottingham and Newhouse, Scotland. The first to arrive at the site are Redx Anti-infectives – a new division of Liverpool-based Redx Pharma; Blueberry Therapeutics – a small company founded by ex-AstraZeneca employees; and high-throughput microscopy assay specialists Imagen biotech.
BioCity would set up a third site for fledgling life science businesses and would partly take over the AstraZeneca site at Alderley Edge in Cheshire after striking a deal with the pharmaceutical group.
Astra Zeneca's shift to its new drug research and development park in Cambridge would involve 1,600 staff 1,600 staff from its Cheshire operations.
BioCity, set up in Nottingham 10 years ago at the former Boots Pharmaceutical laboratories has 70 small fledgling life science businesses with 600 employees.
By choosing BioCity as its manager, AstraZeneca, hopes the success could be copied in Cheshire with scientists choosing to set up their own firms.
Its plans would see a BioHub created at Alderley Park providing 36,000 sq ft of high-end laboratory and office facilities for early-stage and growing firms engaged in innovative drug discovery and development.
The BioCity management team and AstraZeneca have been working since late 2012 looking at the feasibility of creating a specialist centre for the next generation of life science companies.
BioCity now boasts a presence in three of the main UK life science 'hot-spots' starting with BioCity Nottingham in 2003 and following it up with BioCity Scotland in 2012.