3 minute read
Lakes BioScience plans for new UK biopharmaceutical facility
A fast response biopharmaceutical manufacturing and process development facility, which could help in the fight against Covid-19 and future pandemics, is being planned by a partnership of pharmaceutical industry experts.
Lakes BioScience, formed 18 months ago and the company behind the proposed development, is accelerating plans as it responds to global demand for monoclonal antibodies production.
Around 250 high value jobs will be created if Lakes BioScience’s plan to build, commission and qualify a £350m biopharmaceuticals site in Ulverston, Cumbria, gets the go ahead. It has submitted its plans for a manufacturing site in Ulverston to South Lakeland District Council. A decision on planning permission is likely to be made during October.
Pat McIver, one of the founding directors of Lakes BioScience, with more than 30 years of senior-level industry experience, said: “Lakes BioScience is the company which is going to bring to life the notion of a uniquely agile and customer-focused, large-scale, biopharmaceuticals contract development and manufacturing operation in the UK.
“We will build on a rich regional and national capability and create high-value jobs in a fast-growing sector to deliver life-changing and life-saving treatments to patients globally.”
McIver said now was the time for the UK to deliver the capability it urgently needs, adding: “Supply chains are under huge pressure across the world to provide manufacturing capacity for monoclonal antibodies. We have submitted a planning application for the proposed new large-scale facility, so we are in a position to respond to this demand.”
Adrian Wallis, projects director at Lakes BioScience, who has more than 40 years of industry experience working for ICI and Novartis, said speed is of the essence when it comes to delivering on the opportunity: “Our ability to deliver a production manufacturing facility from ground to first product in a fast time is something which is really important right now in terms of a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Lakes BioScience can provide the pace and speed of response which is required and we have reinvigorated many of our stakeholders’ views about manufacturing being based in the UK. Our proposition is to be able to deliver antibodies to the patients that desperately need them and save lives. As well as our innovative ability to build the plant to a short timescale and to run the facility, Lakes BioScience is also perfectly positioned to respond to antibody therapy requirements as they change.”
Pat McIver said that longer term vision was also important in terms of building a sustainable business to deliver growth for the sector: “Biopharmaceuticals are among the most important medicines that are reaching patients today and they will be in the longer term. This is about creating something which can be the seed for growth of the biopharmaceutical sector in the UK. It’s also about establishing the UK as a serious participant in the global biopharmaceutical market.
“The research and development, the ideas, the innovations that are happening in the UK are serving a global population. Why don’t we do biopharmaceutical manufacturing in the UK? We have all of the know-how, all of the capability, we have brilliant scientists, brilliant engineers, brilliant people, so why aren’t we doing it? At Lakes BioScience, we can’t find an answer to that question. So we are going to make this happen.”
Lakes BioScience hopes the site will become a major centre for expertise, research and development, manufacturing, and learning. The company says it hopes to start work on the site later this year, with the manufacture of advanced monoclonal antibodies due to start in 2022.