Last week marked the official launch of The Biosphere. Located at Newcastle Helix, The Biosphere is a specialist lab facility tailored to the commercialisation of life sciences. It provides biology and chemistry laboratories and high-quality office space.
The Biosphere is already home to several life science businesses including Iksuda Therapeutics, NorthGene, Jiahua, MDNA Life Sciences, Northern Retrieval Registry, Alcyomics, Atelerix, Newchem, Biberchem and Demuris.
NorthGene, a provider of DNA-based relationship testing and human identity services, was among the first companies to move into The Biosphere.
Ryan Wetherell, Operations Manager said: “Newcastle is the ideal place for a growing life science business. The city has a strong reputation for research excellence led by two outstanding universities, four national centres of excellence and one of the UK’s leading NHS trusts. Additionally, Newcastle has great local and national transport links which are essential for our ‘direct to consumer’ testing services.
“The Biosphere is in the heart of a supportive, business community that actively collaborates and pulls in the same direction to achieve shared growth. Newcastle’s life sciences community is thriving, helped in no small part by the supportive infrastructure provided to growing Biotechnology industries.”
The Biosphere is based on Newcastle Helix – a landmark 24-acre hybrid city quarter in the centre of Newcastle, built for international tech and science businesses, the local community and residents.
Kier was chosen to build the new facility which was designed by Ryder Architects.
The Biosphere has secured significant funding through the current European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Government’s Local Growth Deal through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, said: “I am delighted to see the official launch of The Biosphere, made possible with £8.6m from the Local Growth Fund. This highly impressive building is a fitting example of the North’s growing international reputation for excellence in life sciences and biotechnology.”
Alan Welby, Innovation Director at the North East LEP, added: “The Biosphere offers regional facilities but with a global vision, presenting a welcoming home for ambitious companies within life sciences, healthcare and emerging fields of biotechnology.”