GSK plans to create giant UK biotech cluster

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GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK) is looking for a buyer for 33 acres of land where it hopes to co-develop a large ‘cluster’ or ‘campus’ for biotech and other early-stage life science companies.


Selling the land, which is part of the FTSE 100 company’s existing 92-acre research & development site in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, should “unlock” up to GBP400mln in new investment from a property developer to build the new campus, it said.


GSK’s senior vice president for medicinal science & technology, Tony Wood, said the proposals followed the unveiling of the UK’s 10-year vision for the life sciences sector.


“Our goal is for Stevenage to emerge as a top destination for medical and scientific research by the end of the decade. We are excited to find a development partner to realise our vision to foster the next generation of world-class scientists and biotechnology firms in Britain.”


The site is already the UK’s largest cell and gene therapy cluster, containing GSK’s R&D operations and two public-private partnerships, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst.


Building on this base, the new campus or cluster “could attract several world-class research organisations to Stevenage, creating exciting opportunities for collaboration in a state of the art, life science ecosystem”, the company said, with space for up to 5,000 highly-skilled jobs over the next five to ten years.

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