QIAGEN commits to major Manchester campus building

By Paul Norman - Thursday, July 12, 2018 8:42

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Bruntwood, Manchester Science Partnership and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust have signed QIAGEN for the 92,000 sq ft Citylabs 2.0 development within the Oxford Road Citylabs campus development.

Described as a "world-leading precision medicine campus in the Corridor Manchester Enterprise Zone", the development is a partnership between academia, industry and the NHS - Health Innovation Manchester -  with global diagnostics firm QIAGEN.

The £25m Citylabs 2.0 off Oxford Road, designed by architect Sheppard Robson, gained consent last year, alongside Citylabs 3.0, creating a 220,000 sq ft extension to the Oxford Road Citylabs campus. Citylabs 1.0, a biomedical centre, completed in 2014.

Alongside the development Manchester City has approved a one-off investment of up to £21m, underwritten by life science enterprise zone business rates, as part of a public sector funding package to support a programme of research and development. Greater Manchester Combined Authority have already agreed to provide £3m of loan funding.

It is aimed at anchoring the life sciences sector, "acting as a market for related small and medium-sized enterprises as part of an Applied Health Innovation Campus and reinforcing the city’s reputation at the cutting edge of innovation", the partners said.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This will help confirm Manchester as a world leader in this vital emerging industry with enormous growth potential. This is an opportunity that as a city we cannot afford to miss. It’s a win-win – not just creating a raft of new highly skilled health science jobs and an economic boost but crucially also opening up revolutionary new health benefits for people here. Manchester’s future success depends on building on our distinctive strengths and life sciences definitely falls into that category.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “We’ve always led the way in Greater Manchester, whether it’s cutting edge science and technology, being at the forefront of social change, or pioneering partnerships across different sectors. The NHS was ‘born’ here in Greater Manchester in the middle of the 20th century, 70 years ago and last week we celebrated this. This week we secure our position in 21st century health innovation with this global deal.”

Rowena Burns, Chair of Health Innovation Manchester and Chair of Manchester Science Partnerships, said: “This is a hugely important step change for Greater Manchester's already strong life sciences sector. The new health innovation campus, with QIAGEN at its heart, will support the continued growth of businesses which are driving the future shape of medicine and health care, and cement our position as a world-leader in precision medicine. This is precisely what Health Innovation Manchester was set up to do, and combined with our devolved health and social care system, places us in an incredibly strong position to address the health challenges of the population.

“For MSP, this is a massive testimony to the existing strength of our partnership with QIAGEN, who have already added so much to the City's life sciences community. QIAGEN will now become the flagship for the next phase of our Oxford Road Citylabs campus, being developed by MSP's majority shareholder, Bruntwood, for MSP and our joint venture partner, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust."

Peer M. Schatz, Chief Executive Officer of QIAGEN, said: “These partnerships leverage QIAGEN’s rich expertise in Manchester to accelerate innovation as a basis for the development of valuable molecular tests. This is a true win-win situation, bringing together QIAGEN, the global leader in Sample to Insight solutions, with important intellectual assets in the UK to accelerate molecular biomarker research and subsequent development of new and promising diagnostic assays.

“We expect this collaborative initiative to serve as an innovation incubator to support translating genomic biomarkers into clinical use and ultimately to yield benefits for our customers and patients everywhere who need advanced diagnostic insights.”

Tom Renn, Managing Director of Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) said: "We are proud to be part of the partnership that has led to this hugely important deal for our great city, and a thrilled that our long-standing customer QIAGEN has chosen our Citylabs 2.0 for their new home as they make this significant expansion. With our Joint Venture partner, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, we are excited to progress our £60m, 220,000 sq ft Citylabs campus extension which will enable the creation of a world-leading precision medicine campus in Manchester. This is a huge investment in Manchester and our Citylabs campus, developed by our majority shareholder and MFT's strategy property partner Bruntwood, will provide the facilities and growth support for world-leading clinical care, research and innovation to flourish. Undoubtedly this will be the biggest deal of the year for the sector in the city."


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