US, German Pharma giants commit to new research facilities in UK

Investments in the UK by two pharmaceutical giants, has been labelled a ‘vote of confidence’ for the UK claims Greg Clark. Qiagen and MSD expect to open centres in Manchester and London respectively.

Pharmaceutical lab research
Two global pharmaceutical companies announced plans to finance major research facilities in the UK in a move welcomed by Business Secretary Greg Clark as “a huge vote of confidence” in the government’s plan to make Britain a leading hub for hi-tech, research and innovation.

Life sciences research in London and Manchester

Announced on the day the government launched its Industrial Strategy White Paper, North America’s Merck, known as MSD in Europe, said it would open a new life sciences research centre in London, creating around 150 research posts, while Germany’s Qiagen will expand its investment in a genomics and diagnostics campus in Manchester, also resulting in 150 new research jobs.“People don’t make the investments of this scale that are for the long term if they don’t have the confidence that we are building in this country a very attractive base,” said Mr Clark.
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Significant investment for the UK

MSD’s investment will create a £1 billion European hub in London, employing about 150 new researchers and 800 other staff, most of whom will relocate from company offices outside London. “We believe London to be a unique bioscience centre of excellence and a key component of the established golden triangle for academic science of London-Oxford-Cambridge,” said Louise Houson, managing director of MSD in the UK and Ireland.This investment presents a major opportunity for us to work in collaboration with the UK government to build on the forward thinking and ambitious Industrial Strategy White Paper being published.”

MSD expansion in US as well as Europe

MSD said in a statement that the decision to locate the new unit in London was in line with other investments in life sciences hubs in the US, namely the San Francisco Bay area and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Locating a research facility in London “will expand MSD’s opportunity to engage with leading researchers in the UK and Europe”, it added.Roger Perlmutter, the firm’s head of R&D, said the London site “will enable us to build on our proud legacy of invention and be an important contributor to the vibrant and rapidly growing London life sciences community while providing access for more collaborations within the European life science ecosystem”.Qiagen expects to sign a deal early next year to expand its presence in Manchester where it currently employs 270 staff working on DNA-based diagnostics for personalised healthcare.The government said the investment had the potential to create 800 skilled jobs overall in the Manchester life sciences hub at Qiagen and other firms.
Peer Schatz, Qiagen chief executive, said the involvement of the University of Manchester, the NHS Trust and the UK government were “essential” to the partnership the company was investing in.For related news and features, visit our Enterprise section. Look out for the launch of 2018's Relocate Awards, entries open in January.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory

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