ICON is expanding its early-phase development capabilities on the Manchester Royal Infirmary Campus in the UK, with plans to open a Translational Medicine Research Centre in Citylabs, a new biomedical centre of excellence developed out of what used to be the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

The company, a global provider of outsourced development services based in Ireland, has secured a 40,000 sq ft pre-let at Citylabs, which will also host biohealth organisations including the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The University of Manchester, and other commercial research enterprises.

ICON currently operates a hospital-based Clinical Pharmacology Unit on the Manchester Royal Infirmary Campus, where it will continue to run its Phase I operations until fully transitioning to the new, larger Citylabs facility, which is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2013.

“This expansion will enable ICON to increase the capacity of its Clinical Pharmacology Unit in Manchester as well as the scientific services that are essential in providing a world-class offering,” said Dr. Mario Rocci, president of ICON Development Solutions.

Expansion programme

ICON announced in mid-2009 that it would collaborate with the Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust on developing a purpose-built translational medicine facility as part of the CMFT’s ambitious expansion programme for the Manchester Royal Infirmary Campus.

A first step in this direction was transferring the company’s Manchester-based clinical pharmacology services into dedicated clinical research facilities on the Manchester Royal Infirmary site.

In October 2010, ICON’s clinical pharmacology unit was awarded the highest level of accreditation by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.