ReNeuron Group has announced that it has signed an agreement with the Welsh Government to lease a landmark building at Pencoed Technology Park, near Cardiff, South Wales.
A key element of ReNeuron’s £33 million funding in 2013 was support from the Welsh Government and the Welsh Life Sciences Fund, allied to the relocation of the business to a new facility in South Wales. This move will bring together ReNeuron’s world-class research and development activities, GMP cell manufacture and allied corporate functions in one location, providing operational synergies as the Company’s therapeutic candidates move through clinical development to future market approval. The Company envisages the creation of up to 70 further jobs to be based at the site as cell manufacturing comes on-stream and builds over the next two years and beyond.
ReNeuron plans to commence the relocation of its operations to this site in April 2015, when the conversion of the existing building is expected to be complete. The ground floor of this facility will provide the Company with more than 25,000 square feet of research and development laboratories, GMP clean rooms designed for automated cell culture, and office accommodation, with scope to expand further if required in the future. When licensed for GMP cell manufacture, the facility will provide for ReNeuron’s late-stage clinical and initial commercial product requirements, from 2016 onwards.
The cost of converting and fitting out the building will be borne by the Welsh Government as part of the above-mentioned financial support package.
Edwina Hart MBE, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport in the Welsh Government, said: “I am delighted that plans are now well underway for ReNeuron’s relocation to Wales. Life sciences is one of our priority economic sectors and regenerative medicine is fast becoming an emerging sub-sector for Wales thanks to the presence of some world-class researchers. We have ambitious plans to grow this sector and build on our existing strengths. Attracting a company of the calibre of ReNeuron is central to this strategy. Their pioneering work is renowned internationally and the decision to move to Wales has created interest around the world.”
Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of ReNeuron, said: “We are delighted to have signed an agreement to lease this landmark building in South Wales, which marks a further significant step in ReNeuron’s business development strategy. When complete, we believe the building will house the UK’s most advanced commercial cell therapy manufacturing facility and we are delighted to continue to work with the Welsh Government to bring this important project to fruition. Taking full control of the manufacture of our cell-based therapies is a key value driver for our business, reducing risk and enabling considerable future cost savings through manufacturing efficiencies and downstream economies of scale. Combined with the recent success we have achieved in developing off-the-shelf cryopreserved cell therapy candidates, we believe we are at the forefront in creating a commercially viable cell therapy business.”