Critical investment secured by OxLEP has enabled the refurbishment of key areas of a major biomanufacturing facility in Oxford, supporting its status as a global leader.
The University of Oxford’s Clinical BioManufacturing Facility – located on the Old Road Campus in Headington – is a major leader in the production of vaccines for early phase clinical trials, including the world-renowned Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
Working with the University, in 2020, OxLEP secured £200,000 of funding via the Government’s Getting Building Fund to support a vital refurbishment project, with the overall cost of the University’s work totalling just under £285,000.
The investment has led to the refurbishment of the facility’s cleanroom and storage facilities as well as enabling further, future works to support its expansion moving forward.
This future expansion is set to include the development of more space to deliver up to 10 clinical grade products each year, including work in gene therapies, vaccines and biologics.
Through this expansion, the University’s capabilities to potentially increase the UK’s share of the global vaccine and biologics manufacturing market – worth over $1billion – will be enhanced, as well as the facility’s ability to attract and support small businesses operating in the sector to lead their own clinical trials of investigational medicinal products
Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of OxLEP – said: “The investment that we managed to secure for this project three years’ ago was significant in a number of ways.
“Not only has it, and will, further support the University of Oxford’s ambitions to really spearhead the global push to develop world-leading medicinal products, but it also helps to place a further ‘flag in the ground’ when it comes to attracting the world’s best talent in science and innovation to Oxfordshire.
“The project itself is further evidence that our world-leading innovation ecosystem is genuinely able to tackle and find solutions to the world’s major challenges, as well as also demonstrating that continued investment into Oxfordshire’s science and technology-led sectors is vitally-important to all concerned.”
The investment secured by OxLEP for the Clinical BioManufacturing Facility is part of a wider programme of Getting Building Fund activity that is – and will continue to – make significant impacts on businesses, communities and organisations across Oxfordshire.
Collectively, by 2025, a total of six projects – each backed by Getting Building Fund investment – will lead to the creation of 640 new jobs, safeguard 290 more, assist 350 businesses and provide opportunities to around 500 new learners.
OxLEP secured a total of £8.4million-worth of Getting Building Fund investment for the county, giving businesses and communities an all-important boost following the pandemic outbreak.
WATCH: 'Lighting the Spark' with OxLEP: The £8.4m Getting Building Fund investment for Oxfordshire
The Clinical BioManufacturing Facility provides the link between academic research and clinical drug development to allow rapid progress into clinical trials. It can manufacture a variety of products including viral vector and recombinant protein vaccines and advanced therapy medicinal products, such as cell and gene therapy products.
Nigel Tipple added: “The Clinical BioManufacturing Facility is a standout asset not only for Oxfordshire, but the world too, so to play a key role in helping it to make further impacts – that ultimately can benefit millions of people globally – is a very positive moment for OxLEP.”