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Leading medical research company signs with Queen Mary BioEnterprises

Europe’s leading anti-viral research organisation – dedicated to tackling, among other viruses, the common cold - is to enhance its capabilities by taking up premises within the Queen Mary BioEnterprises Innovation Centre in Whitechapel.  

16 June 2010


Queen Mary BioEnterprises Innovation Centre in Whitechapel

At a signing ceremony today (Wednesday 16th June, 2010) Queen Mary BioEnterprises – a wholly owned company of Queen Mary, University of London - will lease 1,300 sq. metres of bespoke laboratory and clinical beds space to Retroscreen Virology, making the company its first anchor tenant.

The Innovation Centre – the result of a significant capital investment partnership between Queen Mary and the London Development Agency - is located on the College’s Whitechapel campus, close to its School of Medicine and Dentistry. The area is fast developing into a ‘Life Sciences cluster’, boasting a growing network of world-class clinical, teaching and research resources - including both Barts and The London Medical School, ranked top in London, and the Royal London Hospital – that offers exciting benefits for healthcare research, as well as the ongoing regeneration of the area.

The Innovation Centre itself provides state-of-the-art facilities comprising approximately 3,700 sq. metres of laboratories and offices designed specifically for high technology companies operating in the Life Sciences sector. It represents a major job creation and retention initiative for London – in total, it expects to contribute to the employment of up to 300 skilled professionals, and anticipates supporting a further 60 to 80 jobs in services in the local community. The Centre specifically allows start-up companies to expand within the Capital.

Dean Curtis, Chief Administrative Officer of Queen Mary, University of London said; “Queen Mary is delighted to welcome Retroscreen Virology as a major tenant to the outstanding environment for commercial life sciences research offered by Queen Mary BioEnterprises. We are particularly pleased to have secured such a strong company in this field and are sure that Retroscreen will be an important addition to an already very significant cluster of high quality health-related activity focused on our medical school.”

London Development Agency Group Director Business Support and Promotion, Danny Lopez added; "Innovation is vital for business growth and the key to ensuring London remains a leader in the increasingly competitive global market. The LDA is pleased to support the development of the Queen Mary BioEnterprises Innovation Centre and the world-class organisations who are paving the way in this cutting-edge industry."

Dr Robert Lambkin-Williams, CEO of Retroscreen Virology said; “This new facility will allow Retroscreen to further enhance its Human Viral Challenge Model capability with dedicated en suite isolation rooms, on site laboratory support and integrated data management. This is the first clinical facility dedicated to Human Viral Challenge Studies since the closure of the Common Cold Institute in the 1990s. As a specialist virology contract research organisation (CRO), Retroscreen is the only company to offer Human Viral Challenge Studies in influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the common cold.”

Ends

Notes to editors

Queen Mary, University of London

Queen Mary, University of London is one of the UK's leading research-focused higher education institutions with over 16,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Amongst the largest of the colleges of the University of London, Queen Mary’s 3,000 staff deliver world class degree programmes and research across 21 academic departments and institutes, within three sectors: Science and Engineering; Humanities, Social Sciences and Laws; and the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry offers international levels of excellence in research and teaching while serving a population of unrivalled diversity amongst which cases of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, TB, oral disease and cancers are prevalent, within east London and the wider Thames Gateway.  Through partnership with our linked trusts, notably Barts and The London NHS Trust, and our associated University Hospital trusts – Homerton, Newham, Whipps Cross and Queen’s – the School’s research and teaching is informed by an exceptionally wide ranging and stimulating clinical environment.

The London Development Agency

The London Development Agency (LDA) works across the capital to unlock the potential of London and Londoners and sustain its economic growth by:
- supporting businesses to grow and succeed
- tackling climate change
- promoting London internationally
- catalysing local regeneration and improving the public realm
- helping workless Londoners to get into work and stay in work
- making the most of the business, skills and regeneration opportunities from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
- The LDA invested £7m in the development of the Queen Mary BioEnterprises Innovation Centre between 2007 and 2009.

For media information, contact:

Rupert Marquand
Public Relations Manager
Queen Mary University of London
email: r.marquand@qmul.ac.uk
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