Liverpool-based Redx Pharma is to open a £10.5m R&D centre at AstraZeneca's Alderley Park, creating over 100 jobs at the site.
Yesterday AstraZeneca announced the launch of a new initiative to create a BioHub building to act as a collaborative R&D centre – with Redx, Blueberry Therapeutics and Imagen Biotec the first companies to sign up.
Redx Pharma, a drug discovery and development company, has announced that their new venture Redx Anti-Infectives Ltd, will create 119 high value science jobs at the site, establishing a new team to develop drugs combatting resistance to antibiotics and new medicines to tackle viral infections.
There will be a particular focus on hard to treat infections, including the growing threat of drug resistant superbugs like MRSA, as well as conditions such as influenza, Hepatitis C and HIV.
A further 28 specialist jobs are expected to be created within the wider supply chain.
Redx Anti-Infectives began operations at the end of April 2013 supported by a grant of £4.7 million from the UK Government's Regional Growth Fund. The company has also recently completed a significant funding round.
Dr Neil Murray, chief executive of Redx Pharma, commented "The World Health Organisation has identified drug resistance, particularly in the area of antibiotics, as one of the most pressing human health concerns globally. The fresh thinking and original approach of Redx Anti-Infectives will help create effective solutions to these critical problems.
"Redx is a discovery engine for global pharma and it is innovative and agile companies like ours that can help the industry adapt to a new model of research and development where there is more willingness to outsource some of the challenges involved in creating new proprietary medicines. At Redx, our methods have already uncovered commercial potential that might otherwise have been missed and our approach helps partners to bring new medicines to market faster.
"Whilst our headquarters remain in Liverpool and we have ambitious plans to grow our business and create high value science posts in the city, at the same time we recognise that the facilities at Alderley Park are world class and enable us to move quickly in expanding this key new part of our business. We will be working closely with our colleagues at AstraZeneca, who made a compelling commercial case to attract us to Alderley Park. We look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration."
Clive Morris, AstraZeneca Vice President, Research & Development said "We are delighted to welcome Redx to Alderley Park, which is an important first step in our ambition to secure a sustainable future for the site. We will continue to seek further opportunities to attract other innovation-driven companies and, wherever possible, build on the existing bioscience expertise and world class facilities available at Alderley Park."
Redx has a busy recruitment programme and hopes to take advantage of the high quality workforce in the area. Alderley Park has a long and rich heritage of important advancements in medical treatments developed at the site.
Redx develops therapeutic remedies based on existing classes of drugs, structurally modifying them to create new proprietary medicines. The company achieves revenues by entering into licensing agreements with mid-sized and large pharmaceutical partners who undertake further clinical studies with promising new drug compounds.
Blueberry Therapeutics Ltd and Imagen Biotech Ltd both relocated to the BioHub at Alderley Park on Tuesday, 7th May.
Blueberry Therapeutics Ltd is a modern drug discovery and development company whose portfolio includes programmes in bacterial drug resistance, fungal nail infection and atopic dermatitis.
Michael Davies, Chief Medical Officer at Blueberry Therapeutics, said "Until yesterday we were a virtual company. We are now semi-virtual and have already doubled our workforce. We are now 4!
"We hope to be expanding over this coming year but that will be entirely dependent on funding."
Imagen Biotech said the decision to move was taken because Alderley Park is an ideal location for the company to pursue its new research agenda. Their focus will be on the development of personalised chemotherapy using High Content Screening.