News Column

CPI in Pounds 20m cash injection for first biologics factory

July 11, 2014

Kelley Price; Kelley Price Business Reporter kelley.price@trinitymirror.com

EUROPE'S first biologics factory of the future is being developed by Teesside-based Centre for Process Innovation (CPI).

The centre is investing Pounds 20m in the new facility at Central Park, Darlington - which will create 20 permanent jobs and a further 100 during construction.

It comes hot on the heels of a Pounds 38m National Biologics Manufacturing Centre (NBMC) being developed by CPI on the same site, which will create up to 30 permanent and 100 construction jobs.

Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU), the area's Local Enterprise Partnership, has awarded the new project Pounds 10m as part of the Local Growth Fund and their Growth Deal. Due to open in 2017, CPI says it is the first facility of its kind in Europe.

It will allow organisations to develop and test medicine manufacturing technologies in the radical shift from "one size fits all" prescriptions to a more personalised approach to patient treatment.

Established medicine supply chains are currently set up to deliver large batches of a single therapy, to treat multiple patients with the same disease.

But it's all about to change, thanks to leaps in DNA sequencing technology and an understanding of causes of disease and a person's underlying genetic factors.

Biopharmaceuticals structurally mimic - or can be identical to - molecules that are naturally found in the body, making them more specific and therefore more potent as medicines and with fewer side effects than chemicals.

Biotechnology is a fast-growing market and is revolutionising the research and development of new medicines. It already accounts for 10-15% of the current pharmaceutical market and the sector is outperforming the market as a whole. Nigel Perry, CEO of CPI, said: "The new facility will signifi-cantly increase the UK's manufacturing capability in biologics, keeping us ahead in the global race and strengthening the UK's position as the location of choice for life sciences companies".

Chris Dowle, director of biologics at CPI, added: "Any new industry changes rapidly in the early stages of its growth.

"If the UK is to lead and exploit the significant advances from the investment in biologics research made already, it will need to continue to develop its manufacturing processes.

"This will create value and bring long term benefits to the Tees Valley through creating high value manufacturing jobs in a high growth industry".

Central Park is part of the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone, which offers benefits and incentives for businesses in the advanced manufacture, engineering, renewable energy, chemicals, healthcare, and digital technology sectors.

Stephen Catchpole, managing director of TVU, said: "This further strengthens the area's position at the forefront and cutting edge of the biomedical industry.

"It will complement and enhance the neighbouring National Biologics Manufacturing Centre and reaffirms how attractive our Enterprise Zone is to globally significant schemes."

Based at Wilton and Sedge-field, CPI has grown from one to 250 staff in the last 10 years. It is the process industry element of the UK Government's national manufacturing strategy - The High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

CPI broke ground on its National Biologics Manufacturing Centre in April, it is due for completion in 2015.


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Source: Evening Gazette (UK)


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