A city centre building tailored to the commercialisation of life sciences has reached full capacity. The Biosphere opened its doors just three years ago, and is now home to more than 20 businesses, forming a vibrant and innovative life science cluster on Newcastle Helix.
This fit-for-purpose laboratory and office building is dedicated to life science research, development, and commercialisation. It has become a global hub for innovation, with businesses who are based there working on solutions for some of society’s most pressing global challenges, such as COVID-19, cancer, and climate change.
Iksuda Therapeutics were one of the first companies to move in, leading the way in creating the next generation of Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of difficult to treat tumours including ovarian, lung and breast cancers. As well as offices in Boston, USA, the bespoke UK headquarters at The Biosphere were chosen because of the cutting-edge facilities, the eco-system on Newcastle Helix and the regions ability to access the technical skills they needed to deliver their research programmes.
As well as Iksuda Therapeutics, other businesses based in The Biosphere include AMLo Biosciences, CellulaREvolution, Atelerix, LightOx and Newcells Biotech. They have all raised a combined total of more than £50 million of investment over the last 18 months to expand their operations, testament to their ability to compete on a global stage.
During the pandemic, the city’s life science strengths shone through, with some of the best talent and minds coming together to support the global effort against COVID-19. During this time, the North East Innovation Lab, part of Newcastle Hospitals, moved into The Biosphere, to support and accelerate the development of the next generation of diagnostics, building on the Trust’s international reputation for research and innovation. The lab’s work has expanded from COVID-19 to include cancer, sepsis, flu and tropical disease and from the Biosphere it has developed a global reach engaging potential clients from Australia to the USA and working with start-ups and international companies.
Several businesses already based in The Biosphere also used their existing research and expertise to fast-track the development of research, innovations, and ideas bourne out of the pandemic, after winning a share of InnovateUK’s, £40million investment.
The Biosphere has provided the infrastructure that was needed for the life science sector to grow. Businesses benefit from being surrounded by the North East’s rapidly growing £1.7bn life science eco-system, including world-leading universities and outstanding NHS Trust. They also benefit from being located on Newcastle Helix, co-located with like-minded businesses and assets such as the National Innovation Centre for Ageing, National Innovation Centre for Data and the Centre for Process and Innovation (CPI).
Investment into The Biosphere was part of Newcastle City Council’s commitment to the growth of the sector. Since 2020, more than 100 jobs have been created.
Councillor Alex Hay, Cabinet Member for a Resilient City at Newcastle City Council said:
“This project has created much needed jobs, is supporting graduate retention and has helped to secure Newcastle’s position as a leader in life sciences and innovation.
“Our city is a place to innovate, grow and improve lives. We are not only proud of business growth, demand, and the highly skilled jobs this building has created, but the cluster of talent that is helping people across the world live healthier lives for years to come.
“Due to the success of The Biosphere a private investor is currently being sought to facilitate further growth within life sciences."
Due to the success of The Biosphere a private investor is currently being sought to facilitate further growth within life sciences.
Becky Crow, Senior Inward Investment Manager for Life Sciences at NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) said:
“The UK’s Life Science sector is growing at pace and there is a strong pipeline of businesses wanting to expand and locate themselves in our city. This demand means securing a private sector investment will be critical to the sector’s future. We all share the same ambition, to accelerate innovation, catalyse growth and to continue to position Newcastle as internationally renowned cluster.
“The Biosphere is a hub for high growth forward thinking SMEs who are at the forefront of global innovation, leveraging research and development and support from our world-leading universities and outstanding NHS Trust. Newcastle offers health professionals and investors the opportunity to live a balanced life and to build a career in global scientific innovation and invention. It’s such an exciting time for the sector and we look forward to the next stage of The Biosphere journey.”
Luke Dunnett, Property Business Manager at The Biosphere, added:
“Our building is full to the brim of talent, and I couldn’t be prouder of its success and the businesses that call it home. We are a place where life sciences organisations can thrive, grow, and make an impact. The innovation, world leading research and commercialisation of new ideas will benefit our region for years to come.”
The Biosphere secured significant funding through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the Government’s Local Growth Deal through the North East LEP. Both funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.
Full list of tenants here:
- Iksuda Therapeutics
- Explant Lab
- NewChem Biosciences
- AMLO Bioscience
- Airtec Ltd
- 3D Bio Tissues Ltd
- Cellular Revolution ltd
- North East Innovation Lab
- Moorgate Resources Ltd
- Nanovery Ltd
- SkinBio Therapeutics Ltd
- LightOx Limited
- Mullings Companies UK Limited
About the Biosphere
The Biosphere is a purpose-built laboratory facility on Newcastle Helix dedicated to the commercialisation of life sciences. It provides biology and chemistry laboratories and high-quality office space. To find out more about the Biosphere visit https://thebiospherenewcastle.co.uk/
The Biosphere was awarded £8.6m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) along with £4.96m from the European Regional Development Fund. The Biosphere owned by Newcastle City Council has received £4.96m from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund.
Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
The Biosphere is part funded by the North East Local Growth Fund from HM Government, administered by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership. The Local Growth Fund is supporting major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport as part of the North East Growth Deal. The North East LEP works to make the North East a place where more businesses invest, grow, and prosper. For more information visit www.northeastlep.co.uk
About the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a public, private, and education sector partnership that covers Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland local authority areas. The £270.4m Local Growth Fund, secured as part of the North East Growth Deal, supports the North East LEP’s delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan, which aims to create 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024.
About the Local Growth Fund
Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.
That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.
Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.
If you would like some further facts about the Fund, or the wider regeneration work going on across the country, please contact DCLG press office by emailing NewsDesk@communities.gsi.gov.uk in the first instance to request any additional information you might need.
About NewcastleGateshead Initiative
NGI is a destination and inward investment agency that delivers for Newcastle, Gateshead, and the wider region. Every single one of our projects are dedicated to making a lasting social and economic impact. As drivers and enablers of economic growth, we champion our offer on a world stage and we maximise our impact through our partnerships.
We engage with stakeholders and policy makers to influence on a national and regional level to benefit the people who live and work here. We promote the distinctiveness of our region, its culture, and its people to create an authentic voice that makes us stand out from the crowd. We work across key growth sectors and use insight and intelligence to drive innovation, inward investment, and business growth. In addition, we attract world class conferences that reinforce our sector strengths and the strategic importance of tourism.
We play our part in delivering the regions sustainable and inclusive ambitions, creating a world class distinctive city to enjoy, stay and invest. We exist to benefit people by making a better and more distinctive place to live, enjoy, stay, and invest.
About Invest Newcastle
Part of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Invest Newcastle drive and deliver economic growth in Newcastle and Gateshead. They secure capital investment, work to attract new businesses, and create jobs. They help businesses to locate, expand and thrive through a bespoke range of services. They champion the region and its strengths on a national and international stage, promoting Newcastle as a city to collaborate, innovate and thrive. Since it was established in 2013, it has supported more than 200 new businesses to relocate or expand, helping to create and safeguard more than 11,000 jobs.