Canary Wharf is synonymous with high-rise office buildings and some of the country’s leading businesses, but it is now establishing itself as the UK’s centre for life sciences.
Earlier this week, Kadans Science Partner joined forces with Canary Wharf Group to create a new 750,000-square foot wet lab at London’s Canary Wharf.
This is the first phase of the plan to build a world-leading centre for life sciences at the site, and will be Europe’s largest commercial lab building when complete.
The facility, which is expected to be ready in 2026, will be spread across 22 storeys, with lab space on every floor.
Chief executive officer for Canary Wharf Group Shobi Khan said the group has been working on a health and life sciences hub for the last three years.
“We are creating a world class building that will provide state of the art laboratory, office and innovation space for some of the most exciting and fast-growing businesses in the health and life sciences sector,” it was added.
Kadans has experience in the development and management of life sciences buildings, creating multi-let labs and office buildings.
When complete, the building will be available for small and medium-sized enterprises, academics, and global pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.
Michel Leemhuis, chief executive officer of Kadans Science Partner, stated the building will be “the catalyst for a new world-leading life sciences cluster and ecosystem in the UK capital”.
Canary Wharf was chosen as the location for the facility thanks to its connectivity. The Jubilee Line, DLR and, soon, the Elizabeth Line will serve the area, while London City Airport is just 15 minutes away.
Mr Leemhuis noted Canary Wharf, therefore, provides “access to a huge talent pool and numerous funding partners from its existing tenant base”.
Additionally, it is home to a considerable number of professionals, as a result of newly developed apartments, five kilometres of boardwalks, and 20 acres of outdoor space.
“We have homes for every income level,” stated Mr Khan, adding: “[This] will enable researchers and their colleagues to live close by.”
This building could help the government reach its goals to accelerate genomic research across the UK.
Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Social Care revealed the UK government, Welsh and Scottish governments and Northern Ireland Assembly agreed to better genomic testing and clinical trials.
It hopes this will improve cancer diagnosis and treatment; boost early detection of disease through newborn genome sequency; strengthen collaboration on disease sequencing; maximise investment and improve teamwork among genomics research across the UK; and increase access to clinical trials and improve feedback to the NHS, as a means of directly bettering patient care.
Secretary of state for health and social care Sajid Javid said: “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of our booming UK life sciences sector.”
He added: “By harnessing the power and innovation of genomic research, we can reduce diagnosis time and use cutting-edge treatments for some of the biggest health challenges we face.”
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