13 Mar 2014, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: AstraZeneca sold its 400-acre Alderley Park site in Cheshire to Manchester Science Parks (MSP). The latter has committed itself to maintain and expand Alderley Park as a leading UK incubator for life sciences businesses. Although the company has not revealed the sale price for the site yet, it will take a $275 million charge in its first quarter results associated with the restructuring of its operations.
AstraZeneca revealed that MSP will build on Alderley Park's heritage of scientific innovation. MSP is a public-private partnership between Manchester's main academic centers and local councils and investment company Burntwood. It already operates a 221,000 sq ft campus within the city that saw occupancy nearly double in the last year, approaching capacity.
Alderley Park is already housing a small bioincubator called the BioHub (set up by Biocity), which has attracted 24 companies since its launch in 2013. Biocity also operates clusters in Nottingham and Glasgow. Alderley Park has been a center for pharmaceutical research since the 1950s, when the land was first purchased by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). AstraZeneca will continue to employ around 700 workers at the site in non-R&D roles, along with nearly 3,000 staff at its manufacturing facilities in the local area.
AstraZeneca chief executive Mr Pascal Soriot said the sale to MSP "is the responsible and sustainable choice for the future of Alderley Park".