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18 May, 2011 - 13:08 By Tony Quested

Cambridge Biomedical Campus may expand again

Jeanette Walker with chief guests at the dinner at LMB to discuss the future of drug discovery and development in Cambridge

A multi-occupancy building (MOB) at the biomed campus Developers of the exciting new Cambridge Biomedical Campus at the Addenbrooke’s complex have unveiled plans for a potential new building. Depending on demand, it could be up to 80,000 sq ft.


Liberty Property Trust and Countryside Properties revealed the proposal at a meeting organised by the Biomedical Campus team and attended by 200 people from all walks of the Cambridge technology cluster.

Andrew Blevins, managing director of Liberty said: “Clearly in the current economic climate we need to secure a significant level of pre-lets before starting to build.

“Nevertheless we are interested in hearing from anyone with both short and long-term property requirements at this early stage in the development so we can factor these into our plans.

“The land now available at the Campus offers the opportunity to co-locate organisations with multi-disciplinary expertise such as biotech, medical, ICT, engineering, imaging, sensors and nanotechnology on one site alongside the clinical end-users.

“This involves not just a physical co-location but creating an environment in which collaborations and partnerships can take place routinely and face-to-face rather than by email or long-distance. This will facilitate more effective interactions resulting in the development of products and services for which there is an identified market.”

The need for the academic, biotechnology and clinical communities to work more closely together was the main theme to emerge from the first ever meeting of its kind featuring senior members of the Cambridge academic, biotechnology and clinical communities, which was held at the Campus.

The luminaries met at a private dinner hosted  by Jeanette Walker, project director of the Campus, to discuss the future of drug discovery and development in Cambridge.

The 75 guests included the CEOs of 30 Cambridge-based drug discovery companies, the chief executives of Addenbrooke’s and Papworth Hospitals, the directors of both the LMB and the CRUK Cambridge Research Institute as well as a host of senior members of the University of Cambridge and clinicians from Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

A series of presentations was followed by a lively and wide-ranging discussion chaired by Sir Keith Peters, chairman of Cambridge University Health Partners. The discussion took place over dinner served in the canteen of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology which has played host to a long list of illustrious diners over the years including the nine Nobel Laureates associated with the Laboratory.

Walker said: “The main theme that emerged from the discussions was the need for the academic, biotechnology and clinical communities to work more closely together. The Campus development offers a unique platform for us to start cross-fertilising ideas from these three groups and to explore different – and hopefully better – ways of discovering and developing drugs in the future.

“I think we were all encouraged by the willingness of everyone around the table to engage in further dialogue and to adopt a more joined-up approach.”

Major new construction projects at the Campus include the Medical Research Council’s 270,000 sq ft) Laboratory of Molecular Biology due for completion in 2011; the extension to the Rosie Hospital – forecast to be completed in July 2012; and the re-location of Papworth Hospital to the Campus in 2015. The expanded site also includes plans for a new conference centre, hotel and private hospital as well as generous open spaces, landscaped boulevards, cycle-ways and up to 4000 new homes adjacent to a 120 acre country park.

• For more information on the campus, email jeanette [at]

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