Celebrating successes: Private sector investments into UK manufacturing

UK medicines manufacturing is buoyant after its contribution to the pandemic following collaboration between industry, academia and government to develop, manufacture and scale up COVID-19 vaccines. As the landscape strengthens and grows it is becoming an increasingly attractive area for investors, illustrated by recent investments highlighted in the blog.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield global manufacturing and development campus on April 2021, a year after AstraZeneca announced a £380 million investment in a new advanced medicine manufacturing facility and Global Medicines Packaging Centre. The investment in the new facility provides capacity to meet rising global demand for AstraZeneca’s oncology medicine Zoladex. The Macclesfield campus, employing more than 3,000 people, is the UK’s largest medicines development and advanced manufacturing site and is a global centre of excellence from where AstraZeneca exports more than 50 medicines to 130 countries.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “The UK is renowned as a world leader in scientific research and development, but we’re also a pioneer in advanced manufacturing as shown by this £380 million investment from AstraZeneca in a state-of-the-art facility”

Meet AstraZeneca who will be exhibiting at the 19th Annual bioProcessUK conference next week! They will be located in the ballroom of the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh

Last year, eXmoor, the expert cell and gene therapy (CGT) services company based in Bristol, announced an initial investment of £12 million from specialist healthcare investment firm MVM Partners to enable eXmoor’s their ambitious expansion plans. This investment is set to create a new dedicated 50,000 ft2 CGT process development and clinical manufacturing facility in Bristol.

Don’t miss Dr Lucy Foley, Chief Technology Officer of eXmoor at the 19th Annual bioProcessUK conference next week, as she chairs the ‘Growing the UK Manufacturing footprint’ session!

Last October, RoslinCT opened its new state-of-the-art CGT manufacturing facility in Edinburgh! The BioCube, a 1,600 square-metre facility includes five ’clean rooms’ and a dedicated teaching laboratory that will be home to its Training Academy, will help the company reach the demands for their products. Roslin CT is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of human CGT, which works with clients to develop and manufacture life-changing therapies and cures for patients suffering from some of the most debilitating medical conditions.

Catch Roslin CT, host sponsor, at our 19th Annual bioProcessUK conference next week in the following sessions:

  • Peter Coleman, CEO of RoslinCT, will be opening the conference in his ‘Welcome’ session
  • Kevin Bruce, COO of RoslinCT, on the ‘Growing the UK Manufacturing footprint’ panel session, discussing the company’s rapid growth including first-time investments and establishing a new facility.
  • Dr Janet Downie, former CEO of RoslinCT, as she talks about her husband’s challenges of living with renal failure and going through haemodialysis treatment three times a week. Having worked within the life sciences community and cell and gene therapies for many years, Janet brings her perspective and shares her story. Attend the 'Kidney disease - a view of today's realityand the progress towards novel therapeies. A snapshot of the difference we can make to patients' session to hear about it. 

In October 2021, Touchlight, a biotechnology company pioneering enzymatic DNA production to enable the genetic medicine revolution, received the first phase of planning approval for breaking ground on its new research and manufacturing facility in Hampton, UK.

A £92 million investment with Touchlight’s West Hampton, London facility, housing 11 new state-of-the-art DNA production suites, bringing the total on-site to 15 and more than tripling Touchlight’s London-based DNA manufacturing capacity.

Jonny Ohlson, Executive Chairman of Touchlight said: “As the market for genetic medicines continues to expand at pace, we believe our dbDNA™ technology can be a key enabler of the industry, combining our revolutionary DNA manufacturing solution with a vector that sets a new regulatory gold standard. We are delighted that our investors also see the immense opportunities the field offer.”

Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association said: “Touchlight’s pioneering DNA technology is being recognised by investors with this stellar fundraise and it’s great to see that this investment will be used to increase Touchlight’s manufacturing footprint here in the UK.”

In September 2021, Autolus Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation programmed T cell therapies, received planning approval for their new 70,000 square CAR T-cell manufacturing facility which will be part of the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst campus in Stevenage, which is the world’s third-largest cell and gene therapy cluster.