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Newcells Biotech scales up its operations in The Biosphere

June 29, 2020

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Newcells Biotech, a pioneering life-sciences spin-out that applies Human induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (hiPSCs) to develop assays for drug development, have consolidated their two laboratory sites into 500m2 of laboratory and co-located office space in The Biosphere, which forms part of the Newcastle Helix cluster.

The purpose-built space in the city centre site offers strong growth potential for the business and is located close to Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University, where the scientific co-founders have a significant academic group at the university and Newcells have several collaborations.

Newcells plan to expand their development and production footprint in Newcastle and the North East to serve international customers in the USA, Europe and Japan. As a fast-growing company, one of their key challenges is to attract and retain talent. The location of the Biosphere in a vibrant city with a global outlook and growing cluster in life sciences ensures businesses have access to critical skills and knowledge.

Dr Mike Nicholds, Chief Executive Officer at Newcells Biotech, said:

“We are delighted to have moved into The Biosphere, which for us has come at an ideal time. The move has helped us adapt to the extraordinary and rapidly changing global situation caused by Covid-19. The high-quality laboratories and exceptional office space available at The Biosphere, allows our staff to continue working safely, whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines.”

The new site has brought the team together in a laboratory layout which was modified to their specific needs. They benefit from access to shared facilities for cleaning and sterilising, as well as a dedicated temperature-controlled freezer farm area. For Newcells global pharmaceutical customer base these modern facilities further enhance their ability to operate to the high-quality standards demanded by the industry.

“The new laboratory facilities will help us to continue to innovate and grow our business within the burgeoning community of diagnostic device therapy companies that has grown up around the existing pharmaceutical manufacturing cluster and academic biomedical institutions in the North East.

“The life science and healthcare industries have a resilience that has endured over the decades, and even in the shadow of Covid-19 the sector has responded to the challenges with remarkable cross-company and institution collaboration.  As the industry continues to grow, driven by the global demand for healthcare we are determined to be a major player in the life science tools, service, and products segment that is a critical part of the ecosystem that supports companies developing the next generation of life saving therapies.”

Luke Dunnett, Property Business Manager at The Biosphere added:

“A huge welcome to Newcells Biotech who join our growing number of innovative life science businesses that call The Biosphere home.  More and more businesses are choosing our facility, not just because of the high quality laboratory and office space, but because of the eco-system that surrounds our city centre base, the opportunities for collaboration on Newcastle Helix and the talent coming out of our world leading universities.

The spirit of innovation is really alive in Newcastle and the range and quality of the science happening in The Biosphere will play vital role in further enhancing our global reputation as a hotspot for life sciences. We are delighted that NewCells Biotech will be part of our story with their innovations and new discoveries making a difference to the way people live, now and in the future.”

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