Cytiva to help implement workflows at Lakes Bioscience facility

The companies say the collaboration will create 250 highly-skilled jobs at the £350m factory

Lakes BioScience has signed an agreement with global life sciences company Cytiva to help initiate the implementation of innovative workflows at Lakes’ factory in Ulverston, Cumbria.

Cytiva aims to improve the speed, efficiency and capacity of Lakes' research and biomanufacturing workflows. Margret Oland, Business Development Manager Enterprise Solutions at Cytiva, said: “We are delighted to partner with Lakes BioScience in helping them optimise their manufacturing processes.”

Lakes will manufacture antibody therapies at a specially designed and built plant, which will link-up with the UK’s leading network of biopharma research and development organisations as well as learning and training institutions.

Oland said: “The Lakes BioScience management team’s extensive knowledge and hands-on expertise provides a strong level of trust in their success. They are visionaries and want to do things differently. The team is on the same path as us and their roadmap for operating excellence in the digital space is in line with ours. We both want to be very flexible and agile, using digital tools.

“With a blank canvas they can put all this in place from the start. They can be the operation they want to be from the start which brings lots of possibilities and opportunities to grow with the future needs of therapeutics."

The companies say the collaboration will create 250 highly-skilled jobs at the £350m factory.

Oland said: ““Talented employees are at the forefront of any successful business. However, today, there is not a strong pool of existing talent for this type of manufacturing. By collaborating with the National Horizons Centre at Darlington we will develop training programmes for operators. Taking this 360 degree approach is important to securing future talent."

Derek Willison-Parry, CEO of Lakes BioScience, said: “The Lakes BioScience business is going to create a global CDMO which is able to be dynamic and agile in its UK manufacturing capability to meet changing market requirements. Our initial manufacturing capability will include monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) therapies, mRNA vaccines and biosimilars.”

Adrian Wallis, Lakes BioScience’s Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, said: “Project Apex is the first part of our overall Lakes BioScience strategy. Our intention is to invest up to £350m in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility which uses up to 12 x 2000 L bioreactors.

“We have made substantial progress in the feasibility, concept and basic design work with the support of our world-class partners including Cytiva.

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Cytiva (more information, website)