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Sun November 28 2021

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Merit to build £66m Stevenage bioscience lab

16 Nov Offsite construction specialist Merit has been named main contractor for a £66m laboratory in Stevenage.

CGI of Autolus Therapeutics planned new building
CGI of Autolus Therapeutics planned new building

Autolus Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing cancer treatment therapies, is expanding with a new 7,500 sqm facility in Stevenage.

The new facility will enable development of CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cell therapies for cancer treatment, enabling the re-programming of patients’ immune systems so they can more easily recognise cancer cells. Once finished, the facility is expected to process 2,000 treatments a year.

It will be part of the cell and gene therapy cluster in Stevenage, which is the third largest in the world and is known as the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst.

Merit has been working with Autolus, and developer Reef Group, to design the new facility for the last five months. Reef Group’s funding partner, UBS Asset Management, provided £66m in forward funding to enable a fast track approach to delivering this facility by April 2023. The site is pre-let to Autolus on a 20-year lease.

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During the pre-construction phase, Merit developed the layout to maximize offsite manufacturing and to suit its unique building platform.

The design will use Merit’s Flexi Pod system and its PAM pre-assembled modules, with 300 PAMs manufactured at Merit’s 25,000 sqm factory in Cramlington, Northumberland and shipped to Stevenage for installation. Three-quarters of the construction work will take place offsite in Northumberland.

The contract is the latest in a raft of recent appointments for Merit, which has been awarded a number of large-scale projects in the healthcare and life sciences sector. This includes the expansion of the rapid response facility in Darlington for CPI, as well as a lateral flow manufacturing site for Abingdon Health in York.

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MPU
MPU

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