AstraZeneca to open new global R&D centre and corporate HQ in Cambridge, UK

AstraZeneca’s small molecule and MedImmune’s biologics research and development will come together at a purpose-built facility on Cambridge Biomedical Campus

An aerial view of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus where AstraZeneca will locate its global R&D centre and corporate HQ

AstraZeneca is to locate its new UK-based global research and development centre and corporate headquarters at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus on the southern outskirts of the city. By 2016, the new site will employ nearly 2,000 people.

As announced on 18 March, the investment in a £330 million facility in Cambridge is part of the company’s move to create strategic global R&D centres in the UK, US and Sweden to improve pipeline productivity and to establish AstraZeneca as a global leader in biopharmaceutical innovation.

The purpose-built site in Cambridge will bring together AstraZeneca’s small molecule and biologics research and development activity. It will be the new UK home for biologics research and protein engineering carried out by MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s biologics arm. MedImmune already employs around 500 people at Granta Park, to the south-east of the city.

The new site will also become the company’s largest centre for oncology research as well as focusing on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, respiratory, inflammation and autoimmune diseases and conditions of the central nervous system. Work carried out in Cambridge will include medicinal chemistry and high-throughput screening and the facility will accommodate a number of AstraZeneca’s pre-clinical research capabilities.

Other global functions will join the research and development teams at the new facility and Cambridge will become AstraZeneca’s corporate headquarters.

A schematic of the plots secured on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus by AstraZeneca and its biologics arm MedImmune

‘Moving to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus means our people will be able to rub shoulders with some of the world’s best scientists and clinicians carrying out some of the world’s leading research – that’s a really exciting prospect,’ said Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive of AstraZeneca.

The Cambridge Biomedical Campus site is also home to the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology, the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science and the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute.

AstraZeneca will occupy approximately 11 acres of the 70-acre campus, which is situated two miles from central Cambridge.

Science Minister David Willetts said AstraZeneca’s move was excellent news for the UK life sciences industry. Cambridge is now home to more than 1,500 high-tech firms.

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