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Big in biomedicine The Northwest’s strengths combine academic facilities, R&D excellence and commercial insight, creating one of Europe’s core biomedical regions England’s Northwest is in Europe’s ‘super league’ of biotech clusters, and is the UK’s number one location for biomedical foreign direct investment. Seven major biomedical multinationals have a base here, including AstraZeneca with its largest global R&D facility located in Cheshire. There is an unrivalled range of specialist R&D and clinical research facilities, such as The Christie Hospital, Europe’s largest combined research and clinical delivery centre for cancer and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the oldest in the world. The jewel in the crown is the Northwest’s international and fast-growing expertise in translational medicine, with a particular focus upon healthcare and medical technologies, biopharmaceuticals, pharmacogenetics and stratified medicine, e-enablement and telehealth. The region also has internationally recognised strengths in neurological disease and mental health; regenerative medicine; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; infectious disease (including tropical disease); and paediatric medicine. The clinical research strengths of the universities of Liverpool and Manchester – ranked third in the country for the quality of its research – makes the Northwest a true world leader in biomedical sciences.

There are more than 280 biomedical companies (including 120 core medical device and healthcare technology companies) focusing on manufacturing or conducting R&D in the region. These companies employ around 22,000 people. As well as AstraZeneca, pharmaceutical giants Eli Lilly, Bristol Myers Squibb, Novartis, Sanofi Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline and TEVA have a significant presence, helping to make the Northwest the largest producer of pharmaceuticals in the UK, with annual exports of around £4.4 billion and a balance of trade of £2.8 billion – the country’s highest. There is also a significant healthcare, diagnostics and analytics cluster, which includes Baxter, DePuy, Thermo Fisher, Applied Biosystems, Waters Corporation and Qiagen. The region also hosts a broad base of clinical supply chain companies, such as Waters, and Shimadzu. It is no surprise that the region has an established network of global companies, often working in conjunction with the impressive and internationally-recognised universities. There is a strong heritage in scientific and biomedical research, stretching back 150 years with the creation of the world’s first synthetic dye, to more recently, the most advanced regenerative medicine in the world, by a home-grown fast-growth biotech firm. The dynamic, pioneering, can-do spirit of the region is recognised internationally, making it one of the most successful biomedical regions in Europe and one of the most attractive locations for investors looking to grow their business.



European super league of biotech sectors

1st in UK for biomedical foreign investment

7 major biomedical multinationals

2 NIHR biomedical research centres

Europe’s largest cancer centre

280+ biomedical companies

22,000 employees

Translating research into reality Few regions in the world boast such a dynamic environment for translational medicine Translating new research from the R&D lab into successful drugs or diagnostic tests at patients’ bedsides through effective development and clinical trials is at the heart of success in the biomedical sector – and it is a process that the Northwest is particularly well placed to facilitate. The Northwest has 60 NHS hospitals, including two of the largest university teaching hospitals in Europe, in Manchester and Liverpool. The regional Strategic Health Authority is recognised as being among the most effective and forward looking in the UK and is one of only two nationally with a specific R&D group, with the goal of facilitating cross-sector partnerships to develop and secure high quality, innovative bids for research funding. Many of the region’s medical businesses take full advantage of the special relationship that exists with some of Europe’s leading clinicians based in this region. Home to six clinical research networks The Northwest plays host to all six of the therapeutic areas covered by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Networks (CRN). The six CRNs – covering diabetes, dementias and neurodegenerative disease, strokes, mental health and cancer, and medicines for children – were created by the government to improve access for companies to patients, staff and infrastructure of the National Health Service (NHS). The region also has three comprehensive Local Research Networks which focus on diseases areas outside of the CRNs. The region is also home to two of the six CRN coordinating centres. Manchester is the hub of the UK Mental Health Research Network, established to provide the NHS infrastructure for clinical trials addressing mental health and social care. Liverpool is home to the Medicines for Children

Building the Biobank: The biggest resource of its kind in the world

Research Network Co-ordinating Centre, based at the; Institute of Child Health at the Royal Children’s Liverpool Hospital, leading the evaluation of drugs for use with children. National flagship for clinical trials The Northwest is spearheading a national initiative in clinical trials and has been designated the UK’s Exemplar region. The aim is to demonstrate that clinical trial performance is improved when the NIHR clinical research network, the NHS and partners in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries work closely together on study set up and delivery. Companies involved in exemplar studies in the region include Novartis, GSK, Schering Plough and Boehringer Ingelheim. The government has simplified the ethics process around clinical trials, creating the Integrated Research Approval System, a single entry point for permissions and approvals for health research from all review bodies. It is a less complex, efficient system which means, for example, that the first seven studies in the exemplar project received NHS permission in an average of 50 days, a figure which compares very favourably to the industry standard of 70 days. Two Biomedical Research Centres The Northwest is the only region in the UK outside London to boast two Department of Health Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs), in Liverpool and Manchester. The BRCs, which focus on translational research, were selected by an international panel of experts. Manchester BRC, based at Manchester Royal Infirmary, specialises in genetics and developmental medicine,

Biobanking – a world pioneer The Northwest is the UK’s leading region for biobanking. There is a stable and ethnically diverse population of around 11 million within a 50-mile radius of Manchester. There are very high quality tissue collection, processing and storage capabilities, especially at the National Blood Products Laboratory in Liverpool, and there is pioneering clinical research being undertaken across the region in a wide variety of disease areas. There are several nationally-significant collections of samples, both frozen and paraffin-embedded. Among the most significant are the UK Biobank, hosted in Manchester, which is a national project and the world’s largest resource for the study of the role of nature and nurture in health and disease. Up to half a million people aged between 45 and 69 years old are involved in the study, creating a hugely powerful tool for biomedical researchers. Manchester Cancer Research Centre, a collaboration between five hospitals and part-funded by AstraZeneca, will store 10 million samples for 30 years.

Manchester’s status as a centre of biomedical excellence was a vital factor in the company’s decision to invest in the region. Cyril Clarke, Vice President of Translational Medicine at ICON, says: “Manchester was right for a number of reasons – staff retention, staff attraction, the ability for volunteer patients to get to a clinical unit, airport access for international businesses, and being an integral part of the biomedical corridor.”

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The temperature, samples will be stored at Clinical research organisation ICON plc has a significant presence in the Northwest, including a new state-of-the-art Clinical Pharmacology Unit (CPU) in Manchester. A collaboration with one of the largest university teaching hospitals in the UK, Central Manchester University Hospital Foundation Trust, the unit focuses on translational medicine by using Phase 1 clinical research trials to turn molecular research into potential drug candidates –

The potential partnerships and collaborations the Northwest offered was another of the key drivers. This partnership ethos makes it easier for ICON to share expertise and knowledge with academic and medical communities in the region. Clarke says: “Interactions between academics, the NHS and industry are significantly less political in Manchester than they are elsewhere.”

LSTM: PIONEERING TROPICAL MEDICINE The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) is the oldest tropical medicine school in the world and is recognised as a global postgraduate centre of excellence in tropical diseases. It has been awarded more than $100 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to undertake research into malaria and other neglected tropical diseases

an important shift in the way Phase 1 trials are conducted.

The number of samples being stored

The number of years they’ll be stored

The value of TrusTECH partnerships TrusTECH is one of nine regional NHS innovation hubs. It helps to manage innovation in the 60 NHS Trusts across England’s Northwest, representing 80,000 employees, with a combined annual expenditure of approximately £4 billion. It focuses on matching NHS innovations with industry commercialisation and providing access to the clinical base. Based at Manchester Royal Infirmary, close to the University of Manchester and Manchester Science Park, and with offices across the Northwest, including Preston and Liverpool, TrusTECH is ideally placed to develop partnerships between the NHS, industry and academia. Bringing together entrepreneurs, inventors, manufacturers and academics to

take new and innovative medical devices to commercial success is also one of the key aims of Medilink North West, the professional association for medical and health technology companies, hospitals and universities in the region.


10 million

30 years

bringing together the skills of clinician-scientists, scientists, doctors, nurses and allied health professionals based across Europe’s largest single clinical academic campus. Liverpool BRC, based at Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University NHS Trust, specialises in microbial disease. It draws on the expertise of the hospital, the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, to research new drugs, diagnostic tools and medical equipment to treat infections and specific conditions such as HIV, tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Similarly, the NHS National Technology Adoption Centre is also based in Manchester, working with the NHS at a clinical, managerial and procurement level to overcome the barriers to technology adoption. This means proven technologies can be adopted by the NHS earlier.

The state-of-the-art laboratory allows LSTM to capitalise on its position at the cutting edge of its field. It has a well developed international network with extensive links to universities, UN organisations, health ministries, non-governmental organisations and research institutions. The School is located in the heart of the city’s academic quarter, close to the University of Liverpool.


Translating research (continued)

The Northwest biomedical cluster ton

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Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Knowledge Quarter


Biomanufacturing Hub


Speke, Liverpool

1 Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine 2 Merseybio Incubator 3 Royal Liverpool University Hospital 4 The University of Liverpool • MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science • School of Veterinary Science • Faculty of Medicine • School of Dental Sciences • Cancer Research Centre • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences 5 NIHR Biomedical Research Centre 6 NIHR Biomedical Research Unit 7 Liverpool John Moores University 8 Liverpool Science Park

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Medimmune Eli Lilly Novartis National Biomanufacturing Centre National Blood Products Laboratory


Another key centre in Liverpool • The National Centre for Zoonosis Research

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Manchester Metropolitan University


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Mancunian Way




City Town Airport Port

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Manchester Royal Infirmary

Map source: Ordnance Survey Crown Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved GD021102



Academic powerhouse The UK’s largest single campus university is also one of the strongest in biomedical research


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The region’s biomedical sector is supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency’s (NWDA) sector organisation, Bionow. Since 2001, the NWDA has invested over £60 million in regional biomedical infrastructure through Bionow. This is alongside substantial investments from other public and private sector partners. The result has been a 66 per cent increase in biomedical companies and a 34% increase in employees in the Northwest biomedical sector since 2002. To find out more, visit

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Bionow: Boosting biomedicine




Providing a single point of contact for biomedical companies and working proactively to increase and enhance partnerships with the commercial sector, MAHSC focuses on research, clinical services, education and training, with partners working together to ensure that research breakthroughs lead to direct clinical benefits for patients. The seven partners attract the best national and international health researchers and healthcare workers and combine excellence in academia, clinical service delivery, research management and education to serve a population of some three million in Greater Manchester.


• Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Trust • The Christie NHS Foundation Trust • Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust • Salford Primary Care Trust • Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust • University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust

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It is a partnership between the University of Manchester and six NHS organisations in Greater Manchester:

The Boston connection The Northwest leads the way in the development and use of technology in improving patient care. Manchester Integrating Medicine and Innovative Technologies (MIMIT) is the only international affiliate of the hugely respected Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) in Boston. It is led by the University of Manchester in collaboration with six partner NHS organisations. MIMIT facilitates collaborations between clinicians, scientists, engineers and industry to improve patient outcomes by bringing innovative technology developments to fruition. It does this through so-called ‘site miners’ within each of its partner organisations. The site miners are senior representatives within the organisations who work to identify clinical need and clinical exploitation potential in science and engineering.

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Manchester Academic Health Science Centre The Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) is the only one of its kind in the UK to cover the full spectrum of care: acute, specialist, mental health, primary, and commissioning care.


The University of Manchester is ranked third only to Oxford and Cambridge in the UK in terms of its research power. The university was established in 2004 following the merger of the Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, creating the largest single campus university in the UK. Within the first four years of its existence, it improved its position in the Shanghai Jiao Tong world university rankings from 78th to 40th – the sixth highest position in Europe. Its faculties of medical and human sciences and of life sciences form one of the largest health science groups in Europe. The university has strength in medicine extending through nursing, dentistry, pharmacy and clinical psychology. It houses renowned health specialists in the social, economic and managerial sciences, as well as quantitative systems biology in its faculties of humanities and of engineering and physical sciences. Research centres and multi-disciplinary research groups within the university provide state-of-the-art platforms to support biomedical and healthcare research and directly underpin the translation of innovation into healthcare improvement.

These include: • Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre • North West Embryonic Stem Cell Centre • Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research • UK Centre for Tissue Regeneration • Manchester Cancer Research Centre • Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre • Biomedical Imaging Institute • National Primary Care Research and Development Centre • NIHR School for Primary Care Research • Institute of Health Sciences • Manchester Institute of Science Ethics and Innovation • Manchester Biomedical Research Centre • Manchester Integrating Medicine and Innovative Technology (MIMIT) The University of Manchester Intellectual Property (UMIP) specialist technology transfer group has generated over £35 million over the last five years, through the sale of shares in spin-outs, licensing income and through IP grants and contracts activity. It was voted Technology Transfer Office of the Year in December 2009.

Manchester Hub 1 MIMIT 2 Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre (MIB) 3 MedTECH Centre 4 Medilink North West 5 Manchester Science Park 6 The Royal Eye Hospital 7 National Technology Adoption Centre 8 MAHSC 9 University of Manchester 10 Faculty of Life Sciences 11 Faculty of Medical & Human Sciences 12 Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility

Other major centres 13 Manchester Bioscience Incubator & Core Technology Facility 14 NIHR Biomedical Research Centre 15 NOWGEN 16 TrusTECH 17 Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust

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Other key centres located within a three mile radius – The Christie NHS Foundation Trust Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre Manchester Cancer Research Centre Paterson Institute for Cancer Research

AstraZeneca Macclesfield, Cheshire Alderley Park is AstraZeneca’s largest global R&D centre, employing 4,500 specialists at a 400 acre site. Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus and ITAC laboratories Liverpool City Region Home to over 100 companies, Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus is a world class location for hi-tech business and leading edge science. The Daresbury campus is also one of the homes of the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Liverpool City Region The global pharma company has committed to further investment in its R&D centre at its 11 acre plant in Wirral, Liverpool City Region. GSK Ulverston, Cumbria The world-leading Cephalosporin manufacturing site at GSK Ulverston is situated in the beautiful English Lake District. The site is a global Centre of Excellence for manufacture of sterile and oral Cephalosporin Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients.

Excellence in R&D England’s Northwest has some of the world’s best biomedical research, across academia and business The Northwest has historically been a hotbed for innovation, and in today’s increasingly competitive global market, this constant development of new ideas and products is fundamental to a successful economy. The region’s network of hi-tech facilities and universities has created a peerless array of R&D infrastructure. There are 12 universities, including the research powerhouses of Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester. Collectively these institutions produce 15,000 STEM graduates a year. There is also an enviable range of specialist research centres, supporting key biomedical R&D strengths including: biomedical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, healthcare and medical technologies, oncology, infectious diseases, neurological disease, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, respiratory disease, paediatrics, drug safety and pharmacogenomics (stratified medicine) and analytical sciences. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine The UK Centre for Tissue Regeneration and the Northwest Embryonic Stem Cell Centre comprise a formidable force in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The former translates basic discoveries to clinical and commercial benefit by bringing together material, molecular and clinical sciences with stem cell and developmental biology. Its areas of expertise include vascular tissue engineering, nerve regeneration, cartilage, interverterbral discs and biomaterial engineering. The latter produces clinical grade human embryonic stem cells for the treatment of a wide range of diseases and for use in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The Northwest’s position at the leading-edge of regenerative medicine is evidenced by the achievements of highly successful, innovative companies such as Epistem, originally a spin-out from the University of Manchester (see panel).

Qiagen gave a resounding vote of confidence for biomedicine in the Northwest when it invested in transforming the Manchester headquarters of DxS Diagnostics, which it acquired in 2009, into a centre of excellence in pharma-partnering. In addition, DxS has also signed collaboration agreements with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genzyme, Boehringer Ingelheim and Exosome Diagnostics. “The Northwest has a great combination of appropriate skills and talents and a real enthusiasm for the biomedical industry”, says Dr Steven Little, Vice President of Companion Diagnostics at DxS. Another regional success story is Renovo, the world leader in the discovery and development of drugs to improve the appearance of scars and enhance wound healing. The company is developing pharmaceutical products to prevent and reduce scarring in the skin, blood vessels, eyes, nerves, internal organs, tendons and ligaments. Professor Mark Ferguson, co-founder and CEO of Renovo, says: “a base in Manchester has been excellent for attracting and retaining outstanding staff, building a research and clinical development network and for key infrastructure.” Healthcare and medical technology There are a number of organisations in the Northwest focused on helping companies to develop and, ultimately, market new biomedical and healthcare products and innovations. The foremost is Medilink North West, which aims to help companies convert ideas into profitable new products, access appropriate expertise and facilities in universities and specialist research centres, identify manufacturing and process expertise, set up clinical studies and trials and secure funding (see panel). Two exemplars of the strengths of England’s Northwest as a location for healthcare and medical technology investment are Advanced Medical Solutions (AMS) and Baxter Healthcare. AMS designs, develops and

manufactures innovative and technologically advanced wound care products based on the moist healing principle, using in-house natural and synthetic polymer technology. Baxter Healthcare, which specialises in the manufacture of medical technology related to the blood and circulatory system, invested in a new multi-million pound production facility on Merseyside in 2008. The company’s investment was based partly on the availability of skilled bioscience personnel in the region. “There’s a good base of people with appropriate experience in the Northwest because of the strength of its biopharmaceutical industry,” says David Manning, Plant Manager of Baxter.

Analytical sciences The Northwest has leading strengths in high-end instrumentation and is home to both R&D and manufacturing in mass spectrometry and clinical diagnostics instrumentation. It boasts a particularly well-developed infrastructure of analytical science service providers, such as Genprobe and Intertek as well as a range of other major companies in the region including Farfield, Applied Biosystems, Kratos, Shimadzu Research Laboratory, Waters and Thermo Fisher Scientific. Several of these companies have made recent investments in the region based upon their positive experiences of being based in the Northwest.

Drug safety and pharmacogenomics The Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Drug Safety Science in Liverpool is well attuned to working with biomedical companies to improve understanding of adverse drug reactions and investigate how to improve the design, tailoring and selection of drugs. Through the work of the centre, scientists at the universities of Liverpool and Manchester work with leading pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Novartis, Pfizer, Merck and with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, as well as a wide range of innovative smaller businesses, to help develop new medicines for the future. Ian Kimber, Professor of Toxicology at the University of Manchester, says: “The centre exploits the complementary skills of the universities of Liverpool and Manchester, alongside those of the industrial, academic and regulatory collaborators.” Also at the University of Liverpool, Professor Munir Pirmohamed holds the UK’s only NHS Chair in Pharmacogenetics, which aims to help secure the clinical evidence needed to support personalised prescribing of medicines.

Oncology The Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) is fast building a reputation as one of the leading cancer research institutes in the world. Part funded by AstraZeneca it brings together researchers at the University of Manchester; the world-class expertise of the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, supported by Cancer Research UK, the UK’s biggest cancer charity; and Christie Hospital NHS Trust, which treats more cancer patients than any other hospital in Western Europe. In addition, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the UK’s leading breast cancer charity, has established a new £4.7 million breast cancer research unit within the centre, one of only three in the UK. Researchers at the MCRC can draw on world-class resources like the Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre (WMIC), one of only a handful of such facilities in the world, which uses the latest imaging technology to advance understanding of cancers and brain disorders. A new drug development centre is also being established; and plans are underway to expand the Clinical Trials Unit at Christie Hospital, making it the largest phase 1 trial unit in the world.



AstraZeneca is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. It employs around 7,500 people in Cheshire, across several sites. Its 400 acre facility at Alderley Park is the global centre for R&D. The company also has a global manufacturing and supply centre based at a 100 acre site in Macclesfield. Alderley Park has a major focus on new medicines to combat cancer. It also plays an important role, working in other areas, including cardiovascular, – including diabetes and obesity, – inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, and infection research. ­ Alderley Park encompasses a huge range of R&D professionals among its 4,500 strong staff, including chemists, bioscientists, pharmacologists, geneticists, clinical researchers and regulatory specialists.

A spin-out of Manchester University, it was founded in 2000 and moved into the Bioincubator, which provided the support and R&D facilities it required to develop its business. EpiStem listed on AIM in 2007 and now employs over 45 staff with an annual turnover of £4 million.


One successful graduate of Manchester Bioincubator is EpiStem, which provides expertise in epithelial adult stem cells for drug discovery and development in the areas of oncology, gastrointestinal disease, dermatology and ageing.

Matthew Walls, CEO of EpiStem, says: “The Northwest is an excellent location – the expertise, the science and technology knowledge and understanding in the universities, coupled with a strong investor community which can support and provide finance for up and coming technologies.”

Excellence in R&D (continued)

The Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology is one of the largest cancer centres in the UK, with nearly 7,000 new patients registered each year. The centre has state-of-the-art imaging services to detect disease and plan treatment. Infectious diseases The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) has established an international reputation, securing more than $100 million of financial support from the Gates Foundation. It is involved with some of the most significant health projects across the world. The Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium is based at the Centre for Tropical and Infectious Diseases alongside other international research projects, including the Innovative Vector Control Consortium, the Anti-Wolbachia Consortium and the Malaria Drugs Initiative. The School’s consultancy arm, Liverpool Associates in Tropical Health (LATH), is a partner in a programme which aims to treat more than 40 million people. The Liverpool Biomedical Research Centre is the UK’s leading specialist research centre for microbial disease and is a pioneer in the development of new drugs and diagnostic tools for a range of conditions. Additionally the Centre is delivering a number of translational projects.

Lancaster University The School of Health & Medicine at Lancaster University has a strong portfolio of research and knowledge exchange in biomedicine and life sciences and an appetite to work with industry. Particular strengths are around neurodegenerative diseases such as the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer biology, microbiology and parasitology and cell biology including stem cell therapies for eye disease and the development of an artificial cornea. Biomedical and pharmaceutical manufacturing The Centre for Excellence in Biopharmaceuticals at the University of Manchester is at the heart of the region’s biomanufacturing expertise. It brings together expertise in protein expression, bioprocessing, chemical engineering, biopharmaceutical formulation and delivery and safety assessment, working with key industry players. In Speke, Liverpool, the National Biomanufacturing Centre (NBC) is one of Europe’s leading biopharmaceutical design centres, working with global firms – such as Intellihep, Biotechnol SA and Oxford Expression Technologies – to develop and manufacture a variety of novel biopharmaceutical medicines for early phase trials. Speke is also the location for a range of biomedical companies such as Novartis Vaccines, Eli Lilly, and Medimmune, and represents the single largest concentration of biomanufacturing companies in Europe supplying products such as vaccines and insulin to an international market.


Beautiful landscape The region is not only a great place to do business, but is an enviable location from a quality of life perspective. It is home to England’s largest national park, the Lake District, and three areas of outstanding natural beauty: the Solway Coast in Cumbria, Arnside and Silverdale in Lancashire and the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire. There are two UNESCO World heritage sites, at Liverpool waterfront and Hadrian’s Wall, Cumbria, one heritage coast and 32 nature reserves. In fact, almost a third of the region is designated as national park or an area of outstanding beauty. The two cities of Liverpool and Manchester are young, vibrant cities, at the cutting edge of the music and cultural scene. Coupled with its outstanding connectivity, superb infrastructure and long-standing commitment to the biomedical industry, these strengths make the Northwest an ideal location for investors.

Well connected The Northwest’s excellent transport connections are another major benefit for investors. In fact, the region is one of the best connected in the UK, whether by road, rail, sea or air. The road infrastructure is unrivalled. The Northwest boasts 70 per cent more motorways than the national average and is at the crossroads of the key North-South (M6) and East-West (M62/M56) motorway network, providing direct access to all British major cities within four hours. There are three major international airports in the Northwest, flying to over 270 destinations worldwide: Manchester International – the largest British airport outside London – as well as Liverpool John Lennon and Blackpool International. It is equally well serviced by the rail network. Over 39 trains per day travel the route between Manchester and London, with journeys taking just two hours, making this one of Europe’s best served intercity routes.

Supporting investors The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) leads the economic development of the Northwest and works with companies in a variety of industries and countries in attracting foreign direct investment. With over 3,000 foreign-owned businesses in the region, we have one of the UK’s strongest track records in assisting large companies and SMEs with location and expansion decisions. Our Investment Services team offers a range of free and confidential services. This includes information on: property type, legal and tax issues; recruitment support; availability and cost; financial assistance; and networking opportunities with potential supply chains and other relevant businesses. We also operate a number of financial support programmes to support businesses with their investment and expansion plans in the region including grants, loans and venture capital finance.

Investment locations There is a wealth of state-of-the-art incubation facilities, lab space and commercial property right across the Northwest, suitable for everything from blue-chip biomedical organisations to small and medium sized businesses and start-ups.

Thermo Fisher: Developing a global centre of excellence in the Liverpool City Region

Baxter Healthcare, an Illinoisbased healthcare company, has a major biomedical production facility in England’s Northwest.

Thermo Fisher Scientific, with headquarters in Massachusetts, is committed to developing its business in the Northwest.

Baxter chose the Northwest over alternative locations due to its substantial resource of technical biomedical knowledge and experience, its excellent communications nationally and internationally, and its fast growing reputation as one of Europe’s leading

England’s Northwest sits at the centre of the UK, stretching from Cumbria in the north to Cheshire in the south, with two of the most dynamic and cultural cities in Manchester and Liverpool. The economy is both large in size – bigger than 15 EU countries, standing at £120 billion, with 252,000 businesses – and scale; being home to many of the world’s leading R&D investors. Annual private sector expenditure is over £2.2 billion; placing the region ahead of many European countries. The region has more than seven million people – almost twice the population of Ireland. In terms of skills, there is a strong tradition of scientific expertise, serving specialist areas including the aerospace and automotive industries, as well as biomedical, pharmaceutical and chemical. It also provides essential skills for renewable energy and environmental technology.

Dr Steven Little, Vice President of Companion Diagnostics, DxS

Highly-skilled workforce attracts Baxter Healthcare to Liverpool

The company specialises in the manufacture of medical technology related to the blood and circulatory system.

The bigger picture As a leader in biomedical R&D, with a larger economy than Hong Kong and more than a million graduates, the Northwest is an ideal location for investors

centres for the biomanufacturing industry. The strength of the sector means that there is significant local expertise and the availability of trained personnel is high. Frequent travel takes place between Baxter’s locations in the UK and its parent company in the US. Baxter highlighted that Liverpool’s location is ideally suited logistically, with an excellent air and rail network.

The company supplies biomedical instrumentation and analytical equipment to 350,000 customers worldwide, including pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospitals, universities and government organisations. The company has a division based in Halton, Liverpool City Region, where it employs 145 staff in research and

Manchester Bioincubator and the neighbouring Core Technology Facility are among the most successful in the country. Since being established in 1999, Manchester’s bioscience incubation facilities have attracted names such as DxS, EpiStem, Gentronix, Nanoco and Renovo, with venture capital investments in excess of £200 million and more than 800 jobs created.

development, manufacturing, and in its internal supply and support centre. With support from the NWDA, it invested further in a new 56,000 sq ft facility in nearby Runcorn, with the aim of developing it into a global centre of excellence. Frances Brady, Regional HR Manager for Thermo Fisher Scientific, says: “We were very keen to keep the business within the region and are delighted with the potential offered by our new premises in Runcorn.”

The beautiful landscape of Wastwater, the Lake District.

Similarly on Liverpool City Region, MerseyBio is a stateof-the-art facility for developing biotechnology businesses. It includes Category 2 laboratory units and associated office space and houses up to 15 companies at any one time. In addition, there are a host of modern science and business parks across the region providing opportunities to create specialist facilities to suit any need.

For further information about the business and investment opportunities for biomedical companies in the region, visit or call our Investment Services team on +44 (0)1925 400 495.

Biomedicine at a glance


Tel: +44 (0)1925 400 495

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