Cyprotex, the UK-based provider of ADME (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Elimination) and toxicity services, has announced plans to expand its UK facility into BioHub, a new bioscience centre located on AstraZeneca’s Alderley Park research campus near Manchester.  

The specialist contract research organisation (CRO) currently runs facilities in Macclesfield, near Manchester in the UK, and Watertown, Massachusetts in the US.

Expanding into BioHub will give Cyprotex additional capacity for laboratories and office space, the CRO noted. 

The new laboratories will include fully equipped cell-culture facilities and radiochemical handling capabilities, “enabling the company to continue its growth strategy into new areas supporting preclinical drug-discovery projects”.

Second wave

Cyprotex is among the second wave of arrivals at BioHub, along with Gentronix, Bionow, OncoTherics, Integral Finance and The Research Network.

The site was launched by AstraZeneca in May as a collaborative R&D centre where bioscience businesses could take advantage of Alderley Park’s scientific heritage and research facilities.

This followed AZ’s announcement in March that it would be relocating its R&D facilities from Alderley Park to Cambridge in 2016, consolidating its existing presence in the latter area through its biologics arm MedImmune.

A taskforce including stakeholders from local government, the University of Manchester and the Local Enterprise Partnership was subsequently created to capitalise and build on the existing local bioscience network and expertise.

According to Chris Brinsmead, co-chair of the task force, former president of AstraZeneca UK and the government’s life sciences adviser, “we are making important progress in securing the future of Alderley Park. It is great to see AstraZeneca’s BioHub initiative bearing fruit, as we continue to assess options for the site as a whole”.

First-half growth

Cyprotex’s move into BioHub comes on the back of a 22.3% revenue increase year on year in the first half of 2013, along with a record half-yearly operating profit of £317,000, the company noted. 

“Performance remains strong across all of our geographical markets and our main service operations of high throughput ADME, customised ADME and toxicology,” it added.

As Dr Anthony Baxter, Cyprotex’s chief executive officer, pointed out, the location of the Alderley Park BioHub is “ideal” for transport links, both by air and road, “which is important as Cyprotex expands its international footprint”.