Last updateSun, 17 Oct 2021 2pm

Lakes BioScience signs an agreement with Cytiva to initiate the development of a world leading life sciences factory

Lakes BioScience has signed an agreement with Cytiva - a global life sciences leader dedicated to advancing and accelerating therapeutics - to help initiate the implementation of innovative workflows at Lakes BioScience’s factory in Ulverston, Cumbria.

Cytiva brings speed, efficiency and capacity to research and biomanufacturing workflows, enabling the development, manufacture and delivery of transformative medicines to patients.

Margret Oland, Business Development Manager Enterprise Solutions at Cytiva, said: “We are delighted to partner with Lakes BioScience in helping them optimize their manufacturing processes.”

Lakes BioScience will manufacture antibody therapies at a specially designed and built plant, which will link-up with the UK’s leading network of biopharma research and development organisations as well as learning and training institutions.

Margret said: “It’s a beneficial relationship for both. We want to be part of Lakes BioScience’s exciting journey.

“The Lakes BioScience management team’s extensive knowledge and hands-on expertise provides a strong level of trust in their success. They are visionaries and want to do things differently. The team is on the same path as us and their roadmap for operating excellence in the digital space is in line with ours. We both want to be very flexible and agile, using digital tools.

“With a blank canvas they can put all this in place from the start. They can be the operation they want to be from the start which brings lots of possibilities and opportunities to grow with the future needs of therapeutics

“Starting from scratch gives you the opportunity to operate differently and implement new ways of working and gives you the ability to introduce new technologies.”

Margret said mutual benefit is at the heart of the way the collaboration with Lakes BioScience will work and will deliver benefits for patients and industry partners as well as those who will take up 250 new highly-skilled jobs at the £350m factory.

Margret said: “For Cytiva it is always about the patient. Our vision and mission is to enhance access to life-changing therapies. That is the same for Lakes BioScience. The medicines are for the treatment of people.

“The added benefit is the social impact of providing highly skilled jobs in the UK and we will achieve that through this collaboration.

“Talented employees are at the forefront of any successful business. However, today, there is not a strong pool of existing talent for this type of manufacturing. By collaborating with the National Horizons Centre at Darlington we will develop training programs for operators. Taking this 360 degree approach is important to securing future talent.

“Lakes BioScience brings partners together in a way which shows that by working collaboratively they can lead the industry by moving fast and doing things properly.

“The digital space is changing the whole industry and we have designed one of the few operations which can develop the treatments needed.

“Through the collaboration between Lakes BioScience and Cytiva we are ready to be up and running and to be operational fast.”

Margret says linking up with Lakes BioScience makes sense in terms of the shared knowledge and expertise, Cytiva’s ambitions in the UK market, and the opportunity to take the industry in an exciting new direction.

Margret said: “The UK has a history of innovation in biotechnology and this operation has the ambition to be one of the leaders in biotechnology and bioprocessing.

“A lot is happening in the UK right now. The UK wants to be self-sufficient with Brexit and this technology is needed.”

“Life Sciences has been a strong focus during the pandemic but up until now a lot of the manufacturing has been outside the UK. That focus is now shifting to retain that innovation and talent within the UK.

“This is a growth industry for the UK. As a company with a strong presence in the UK we, at Cytiva, want to be a part of that.

“It’s extremely exciting what the whole collaboration between Lakes BioScience and Cytiva will bring to the industry in terms of capability and solutions.”

Derek Willison-Parry, CEO of Lakes BioScience, said: “The Lakes BioScience business is going to create a global CDMO which is able to be dynamic and agile in its UK manufacturing capability to meet changing market requirements. Our initial manufacturing capability will include monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) therapies, mRNA vaccines and biosimilars.”

Adrian Wallis, Lakes BioScience’s Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, said: “Project Apex is the first part of our overall Lakes BioScience strategy. Our intention is to invest up to £350m in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility which uses up to 12 x 2,000-litre bioreactors.

“We have made substantial progress in the feasibility, concept and basic design work with the support of our world-class partners including Cytiva.

“This upfront investment and work enable the project to be achieved at lightning speed over an 18-month period.

“Project Apex is the first part of our overall, and ambitious, strategy which ultimately will increase capability threefold with a further two buildings. This is the start of something really big and exciting.”


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