The UK’s first dedicated Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) will be located at The Oxford Science Park (TOSP), one of the UK’s leading parks for science and technology companies, it was announced today. Located on a new plot close to the Magdalen Centre, home to many SMEs, the £66m VMIC addresses the UK’s gap in late-stage vaccine manufacturing process development. It will be a purpose-built facility, allowing development and manufacture of vaccines for clinical trials and at moderate scale for emergency preparedness for epidemic threats. Location of VMIC at TOSP cements its position as a major contributor to Government’s Industrial Strategy, and recognises the scientific excellence at TOSP and its long-term commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship in Oxford.
With several of TOSP’s 50 life sciences occupiers working in infectious diseases and oncology, VMIC’s highly complementary activities across the manufacture of personalised cancer vaccines and vectors for gene therapy should accelerate opportunities for academic and industrial collaboration at TOSP. VMIC is expected to be up and running by the Spring of 2022.
The University of Oxford, Imperial College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have established VMIC-UK to run the centre, supported by Janssen (part of Johnson and Johnson) and Merck, industrial partners with extensive experience in vaccine manufacturing and development. Expertise and training in state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment will be provided by GE Healthcare.
Piers Scrimshaw-Wright, Managing Director of The Oxford Science Park, said, ‘The Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will be a major part of the UK life sciences research and manufacturing infrastructure, and we are delighted that it will be located here. Building on Oxford’s reputation as a centre of excellence in vaccines research, this multi-party initiative provides a significant boost to the collaborative ethos here. As well as providing local jobs, it complements TOSP’s long-term commitment to science, innovation and entrepreneurship in Oxford, and we look forward to working with the VMIC team on its development.’